Sleep the final frontier and the missing link to weight loss

Posted on August 28, 2012 by Rich Patterson


Sleep is a loveword to me. It is beloved, cherished, treasured. It is like a magic spell and a cure all. It use to be my treat to myself and my retreat when sick, sad, or confused along with a hot bath and tea. It was something I shared with only those most dear to my heart. It was part of my arsenal for health, healing and proper weight management. Whenever I got enough sleep, I woke up thinner, leaner, rejuvenated. I also started to notice that my clients who had trouble sleeping, didn't sleep enough or called themselves insomniacs, had trouble losing and keeping the weight they lost off. Some wrote sleep off as unnecessary, not realizing that sleep is not just about dreaming but about repairing, rebuilding, resting.

In the movie " The Madness of King George" the king says to another character, "6 hours sleep is enough for a man, 7 for woman and 8 for a fool". But, I Need 9 hours of sleep!

In our society some wear sleep deprivation like a badge of honor. In the movie " The Madness of King George" the king says to another character, "6 hours sleep is enough for a man, 7 for woman and 8 for a fool". But, I Need 9 hours of sleep! Or needed 9 hours of sleep when I was dancing and rehearsing 7 hours a day/5+ days a week. When I got pregnant, my first trimester all I did was sleep - I was creating a new miracle being. Now as a new mom, I am lucky if I get 4 hours straight and I see how it affects my memory, cognitive ability, mood, focus, energy and yes, weight loss. As soon as I remembered that I need to start getting more sleep, I started to see improvements in my health, mood, even muscle tone. 

Now it may be years (if ever) before I get to 'treat' myself to 9 hours of beauty sleep again and everyone is different when it comes to what they 'need'', but I am talking about what you need to Thrive. If you don't get enough sleep your body will need to get the energy from extra food which often means extra calories. Certain hormones are released during sleep which regulate metabolism; if they don't get the time they need to do their job, you won't see the benefits from your workouts either.

How can you tell what your minimum is? If you don't have children or they are grown, try on your days off not to set an alarm and see how long you sleep. When you wake up, do you feel rested? Test this a few times (don't force it or oversleep). If you are an active person working out 3-5 days a week you might be surprised to see how much you need.

Finally, if you can't get 7+ hours of restful, uninterrupted sleep - Nap! There are many scientific studies to prove power naps of 20 minutes a day will improve mood, cognitive ability, test scores, focus. I would pack a healthy lunch, eat and socialize for about 35 minutes and nap for 20 minutes during my lunch hour and be refreshed for the rest of my day. But, deep peaceful sleep in a very dark room void of blinking and flashing lights, street noise, light from street lamps/signs is best.

Cheers to your health. If you would like to talk about other ways to improve your health holistically, contact us for a complimentary session to begin your journey to a happier you.

Posted in pursuit of happiness


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