The Sleep Habit
Your new habit: Sleep between 7 and 71/2 hours every night.
Why do you need to get this amount of sleep? Because if you get less, and particularly if you consistently get less than 7-7/ hours, your metabolism won’t function properly, and your body will interpret lack of sleep as an energy deficiency. You’ll produce more grehlin and less leptin, and be tempted to eat a sugary breakfast when you get up to boost your energy level. It’ll then become difficult to keep the lid on the urge to snack during the day. The consequence of not getting the right amount of sleep is weight gain.
What to do:
1. Get into the habit of going to bed early. This may mean changing well-established routines and informing family members of your intentions.
2. Eat your evening meal as early as you can. It’s best if this is a small meal rather than a large one. You don’t need a lot of food in the evening. Any excess energy you take on board late is likely to be stored as fat.
3. Don’t have any late evening snacks, sweet drinks or alcohol. If you do, your blood sugar level will remain high and you’ll find sleep difficult.
4. Don’t drink coffee after your evening meal. Coffee can reduce the secretion of your sleep-inducing hormone melatonin by up to 50%, so getting to sleep might not be easy.
5. Don’t look at a screen, be it a TV, phone, iPad or laptop at least an hour before you go to bed. If you do your brain will think it’s still daylight and getting to sleep may be difficult.
6. Make sure your bedroom is as dark as it can be. You will get a better sleep if your room is dark and not illuminated by electrical alarm clocks / radios etc.