Weight Loss Week 10 – The Importance of Sleep

I’m down .4 pounds this week for a total of 15.2 pounds lost since I started. I’m so excited to be over the 15 pound weight-loss mark. Now I can’t wait to get to 20! In case you missed it, here’s last week’s blog post.

One thing I’ve been thinking a lot about lately is sleep.

I recently read about some studies that scientists are conducting on mice. They took two Goodnight Monkey Fabricsets of mice, fed one group round the clock and fed the other group more food but only during waking hours with a long “fast” in between and plenty of sleep. The second group of mice lost more weight even though they consumed more calories! Isn’t that crazy? Now I know we are not mice, but that got me to thinking….

So for the last couple of weeks I tried my own mini-experiment. I logged not only my calories but also what time I went to bed each night and whether or not I ate a snack right before bed. I also recorded my weight-loss twice a day, at night and in the morning.

What I found was very interesting. On the nights where I did not have a bedtime snack and went to sleep early, my weight loss was up to 2 pounds lighter the next morning. Conversely, on the evenings where I stayed up later (and had a snack) the next morning’s weigh-in was either the same as the night before or just slightly down.

Even though it’s not exactly scientific, this mini-experiment tells me just how important sleep (and not snacking late at night) can be!

So here are this week’s tips on how to get more sleep:

1. Go to bed at the same time each night. That’s hard to do with my busy life but I’ve realized the commitment to sleep is just as important as a healthy diet and exercise. Plus, it’s much easier to get up early the next day when I have a regular sleep cycle.

2. Get the whole family committed to an early bed-time routine. Even though it’s summer and my kids want to stay up late, we allow that only on weekends. During the week they still need their rest so they can get up early and play (or get a jump-start on their daily chores – and then play.)

Sweet dreams!

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