Let’s say the scale, your measurements, and EVERYTHING haven’t budged in a couple of weeks. You’re eating right, you’re exercising regularly, and you’re not sure where you’re going wrong… It’s incredibly frustrating!
What if I told you that if the scenario I just described is you right now, that there’s a possibility that all you need to do is get more quality sleep to move the scale, move inches, boost energy, etc?
It’s a cloudy, humid day here on Long Island, and it’s softball night tonight, baby! Being that my Metsies can’t hit their way out of a brown paper bag thus far this season, I have to get my competitive juices flowing and do it all my damn self — Plus the help of my 12 teammates, of course, a couple of times a week 😉 We’re 3–1 so far in four games, so I can’t complain about those results!
Anyhow, back to today’s originally scheduled programming: Sleep can be the key to overcoming your weight loss plateau!
I know what you’re thinking, ‘But Pete, I’m SOOOO busy! I wake up so early for work, I have to get my kids ready for school, I commute, I work all day, I come home, I chauffeur the kids, I make dinner… If I get six hours of sleep a night, I’m lucky!’
While I can certainly empathize and understand how busy you are, this still isn’t an excuse not to make sleep a priority…
Obviously, shit happens! If you’re a parent, and little Tina or little Johnny (I’m just making up names, though if you have children with these names, you probably think I’m spying on your life, which I can assure you, I’m NOT!) wakes up at 3 AM with a tummy ache, you’re most likely not going back to bed for the next few hours before you actually have to wake up, which sucks…
The same holds true with getting an unexpected emergency call in the middle of the night. Someone’s in the hospital, it’s serious, you need to go…
Trust me, THAT I understand!
That being said, how often does a random event like this happen? I’m willing to bet it’s NOT every night, or even every week, or every month., and thus, you should prioritize your sleep just like you’d prioritize your workouts, your meal prep, your children, your job… You get the idea!
Sleep is THE most rejuvenating thing we can do on a daily basis. It helps to repair both our minds and our bodies, and the better quality of sleep we get, the better off these things will be when we wake up the next morning.
When we don’t sleep well, we’re cranky, irritable, tired and kind of just going through the motions. We crave sugar and processed junk because it’s cheap, it’s easy and it’ll give us an instant burst of energy. We’re more apt to forego daily tasks that we don’t deem absolutely essential, which leads to complacency, the Inaction Cycle…. You get the gist!
Our bodies produce the ‘stress hormone,’ cortisol, when we don’t get enough sleep. Cortisol leads to fat retention and fat storage, as well as the lethargy and irritability I mentioned above. Obviously, none of these traits are good or beneficial to our health…
So, how can we insure better quality sleep, and thus get things moving in the right direction again? Here are a few ideas:
1) Buy Blackout Curtains. They’re not expensive, they take literally one minute to install, and they’ll insure you’re in pitch darkness. Any light creeping in through your windows, whether it be thanks to a street light, a passing car, etc., can interrupt your sleep cycle, which then messes up both the duration and the quality of your sleep. That’s no bueno, so I highly recommend getting these if you don’t have them already!
2) Use White Noise. If you already own a fan or an air conditioner in your bedroom, either will suffice at night, as these let off an ambient ‘white noise,’ which for whatever the reason blocks out sounds coming from outside the bedroom, and allows us to relax and fall into a deeper sleep. If you don’t have access to either in the bedroom, then consider a White Noise Machine. These are cheap, and can be found on Amazon.
3) Put your cell phone on ‘Silent,’ and keep it far away from the bed. This will help you avoid temptation to check emails and texts if you wake up in the middle of the night, and will also insure that unwanted late night calls and messages don’t get heard or seen until morning. If you have a relative or somebody who you’d prefer to keep your phone on 24/7 for, I know the iPhone allows you to add ‘Favorite Contacts,’ which will still insure that their calls or messages are heard as they come in, but everyone else’s will have to wait until you take your phone off ‘Silent’ in the morning. I’m sure Droids and other smartphones have a similar feature. I usually wake up with a large influx of texts and emails, so this has really helped me to avoid unwanted overnight interruptions.
4) Sleep in 90 minute intervals. Studies have shown that based upon human sleep patterns, we go through a full Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Cycle every 90 minutes. Ideally, we want to sleep in one of the following three 90 minute intervals each night: Six hours, 7.5 hours or nine hours. Personally, I aim for nine hours, as I find I’m not quite as sharp at 7.5 as I am when I get nine, and I can barely function at six. You may be different, and you may need to play around with this for a few nights before you figure out which is best for you. Once you do figure this out, try and be in bed 30 minutes BEFORE your sleep cycle is scheduled to start, as the average person takes anywhere from 20–25 minutes to fall asleep.
That’s it! If your sleep quality and sleep length are not good, then it’s very likely that you’ll struggle on your health and weight loss journey. Make sleep a priority, and I can promise that good things will happen 🙂
P.S. If you’re STUCK on your weight loss journey, then let’s chat!
I have a couple of Strategy Call Spots available between now and Saturday afternoon, and I’d love to chat with you about how I can help you get to the promised land.
Unlike most personal trainers, nutritionists and other health and fitness industry pros out there, I have no interest in stringing you along forever. I’m also not just one or the other, I’m more than qualified to assist you in ALL areas, between my personal experience losing 100 lbs and my SEVEN personal training and nutrition certifications through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
If you’ve been spinning your wheels, then you’ll only have to do this once if you buy in, and begin making the simple tweaks I suggest based upon your current lifestyle habits, your goals, etc.
Much like a custom home builder, we’re going to start from the foundation and work our way up, meeting each one of your health, fitness and weight loss goals along the way. Once you get to where you want to be, you’ll be more than well-equipped to continue to sustain, and even IMPROVE upon these goals on your own.
To set up a call, please go to www.weightlossbypete.com/strategy. Set up a FREE 15 minute spot that works for you, and then watch out for the confirmation email, which will have a brief Health Questionnaire. This formshould be filled out prior to the call, and will insure that I have all the best information about you, your medical and injury histories, and your goals before she speak.
That link again is www.weightlossbypete.com/strategy. I look forward to hearing from you 🙂
What Sleep Has to Do With Your Weight Loss Plateau…