Get 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep each night

Sleep is important if you want to lose weight!

Studies have shown that people who sleep less than seven hours a day are 30% more likely to be obese than those who get nine hours of sleep or more.

Sleep-deprived people have reduced levels of leptin, the chemical that makes you feel full. They also have increased levels of ghrelin, the hunger-stimulating hormone. But that’s not all. Sleep deprivation can increase stress levels, which, in some people, causes overeating.

There are many ways in which sleep keeps you health:

_Sleep boosts immunity _
Prolonged lack of sleep can disrupt your immune system, so you’re less able to fend off bugs.

Sleep prevents diabetes
Studies have suggested that people who usually sleep less than five hours per night have an increased risk of developing diabetes. Missing out on deep sleep may lead to Type 2 Diabetes by changing the way the body processes glucose, the high-energy carbohydrate that our body’s cells use for fuel.

Sleep wards off heart disease
Long-standing sleep-deprivation is associated with increased heart rates, increased blood pressure and higher levels of chemicals linked with inflammation, which may put extra strain on your heart.

Sleep increases your fertility
Regular sleep disruptions can impair fertility by reducing the secretion of reproductive hormones – in both women and men.

Sleep increases your sex drive
People who don’t get enough quality sleep have lower libido and less interest in having sex.

Specifically, people who suffer from sleep apnea, a disorder in which breathing difficulties lead to interrupted sleep, also tend to have lower testosterone levels, which can lower libido.

Sleep boosts your mental well-being
Given that a single night with less or no sleep can make you irritable the next day, it’s not surprising that chronic deep deprivation is linked to mood disorders like depressions and anxiety.

A study that surveyed people with anxiety or depression to calculate their sleeping habits, found that most of the people surveyed slept for less than six hours a night.

10 tips to getting a good night’s sleep

Simple lifestyle changes can make a world of difference to your quality of sleep.

  1. Keep regular hours
    Going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time every day will programme your body to sleep better. Choose a time when you're most likely to feel sleepy.

  2. Create a restful sleeping environment
    Your bedroom should be kept for rest and sleep. Keep it as quiet and dark as possible. It should be neither too hot nor too cold. Temperature, lighting and noise should be controlled so that the bedroom environment helps you to fall (and stay) asleep.

  3. Make sure that your bed is comfortable
    The mattress you sleep on should be as close to what your body needs as possible. The bed itself should be of a size that suits you, and should not be creaky or cramped.

  4. Exercise regularly
    Moderate exercises such as swimming or walking can help to relieve some of the tension built up during the day. But avoid vigorous exercise too close to bedtime: it may keep you awake.

  5. Less caffeine
    Stimulants such as caffeine in tea or coffee, especially in the evening, interfere with the process of falling asleep and prevent deep sleep. The effects of caffeine can last for upto 24 hours, so it is a good idea to cut out the caffeine as far as possible. Have a warm, milky drink or herbal tea instead.

  6. Don’t over-indulge
    Overeating or drinking too much alcohol, especially late at night, can interrupt your sleep patterns. Alcohol may help you to fall asleep initially, but it will disrupt your sleep later on in the night.

  7. Don’t smoke
    It’s bad for sleep. Smokers take longer to fall asleep, wake up more frequently, and often have more disrupted sleep.

  8. Try to relax before going to bed
    Have a warm bath, listen to quiet music or do some gentle yoga to relax the mind and body.

  9. Write away your worries
    Handle worries or a heavy workload by making lists of things to be tackled the next day. This will prevent time spent lying in bed thinking about things that are on your mind. Try not to do any worrying when in bed. If you can’t sleep, get up and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy, then return to bed.