Do you want to lose 10, 30, 50 or more pounds? Have you recently reached your weight loss goal but want to maintain it? Are you willing to dedicate yourself to a healthy lifestyle? Then this blog is for you!

I have lost 118 pounds and have maintained the weight loss for two years. One of the things I have learned during the weight loss process is that it is much easier to reach and maintain your goal weight if you surround yourself with like-minded individuals to support you in the process (whether they be in person or online).

I also have learned that learning as much as possible about healthy living gives you the knowledge and expertise needed to lose weight the “right” way. So this blog includes regular posts, a book list, website list, TV list, video list and book and website of the month. In addition, there is a recipe of the month and product review section. Visitors to Weight Loss Aficionado can just enjoy the site for informational purposes or can comment on posts, ask questions, share resources, their triumphs and pitfalls during the weight loss process.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How to Sleep Well To Support Your Weight Loss!

One of the great things about using Body Media FIT is that it measures your sleep efficiency. After reviewing my data for several months I was surprised to see that although I am lying down 7-8 hours each evening my sleep efficiency on average was only 80%! The data in my Body Media FIT account showed I move in and out of sleep throughout the night.

Sleep efficiency is the ratio of time spent asleep to the amount of time spent lying down in bed. Until I started using the system I thought I was sleeping the entirety of the 7- 8 hours I was lying down. Obviously, I was wrong about that! Below is a great article on ways to improve your sleep efficiency, which will in turn support your weight loss efforts.



Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to sleep. Tossing and turning. Your mind is racing, going over everything that happened today. Night noises keep you awake. What can you do? There ARE things you can do! Read on and learn some new tricks to sleep well. These tips are also known as "Sleep Hygiene."
Sleep only when sleepy
This reduces the time you are awake in bed.
If you can't fall asleep within 20 minutes, get up and do something boring until you feel sleepy
Sit quietly in the dark or read the warranty on your refrigerator. Don't expose yourself to bright light while you are up. The light gives cues to your brain that it is time to wake up.

Don't take naps
This will ensure you are tired at bedtime. If you just can't make it through the day without a nap, sleep less than one hour, before 3 pm.
Get up and go to bed the same time every day
Even on weekends! When your sleep cycle has a regular rhythm, you will feel better.
Refrain from exercise at least 4 hours before bedtime
Regular exercise is recommended to help you sleep well, but the timing of the workout is important. Exercising in the morning or early afternoon will not interfere with sleep.
Develop sleep rituals
It is important to give your body cues that it is time to slow down and sleep. Listen to relaxing music, read something soothing for 15 minutes, have a cup of caffeine free tea, do relaxation exercises.
Only use your bed for sleeping
Refrain from using your bed to watch TV, pay bills, do work or reading. So when you go to bed your body knows it is time to sleep. Sex is the only exception.
Stay away from caffeine, nicotine and alcohol at least 4-6 hours before bed
Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants that interfere with your ability to fall asleep. Coffee, tea, cola, cocoa, chocolate and some prescription and non-prescription drugs contain caffeine. Cigarettes and some drugs contain nicotine. Alcohol may seem to help you sleep in the beginning as it slows brain activity, but you will end up having fragmented sleep.
Have a light snack before bed
If your stomach is too empty, that can interfere with sleep. However, if you eat a heavy meal before bedtime, that can interfere as well. Dairy products and turkey contain tryptophan, which acts as a natural sleep inducer. Tryptophan is probably why a warm glass of milk is sometimes recommended.
Take a hot bath 90 minutes before bedtime
A hot bath will raise your body temperature, but it is the drop in body temperature that may leave you feeling sleepy. Read about the study done on body temperature below.
Make sure your bed and bedroom are quiet and comfortable
A hot room can be uncomfortable. A cooler room along with enough blankets to stay warm is recommended. If light in the early morning bothers you, get a blackout shade or wear a slumber mask. If noise bothers you, wear earplugs or get a "white noise" machine.
Use sunlight to set your biological clock
As soon as you get up in the morning, go outside and turn your face to the sun for 15 minutes.

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