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Why you must have a bedtime alarm in your toolkit
BEEP, BEEP, BEEP ………………
The piercing scream, is not the alarm designed to wake you up, it is the alarm signalling it is time to wrap things up and climb into bed.
What do you mean you don’t have a bedtime alarm ?
According to research from Brigham Young University, if you’re weight watching, this is a must have item, for your weight loss toolkit. The Brigham Young team, reached this conclusion, based on their findings from a study that explored, the links between body composition and habitual sleep patterns.
The sleepy side of body composition
In this study, the team enlisted the help of 300 female university students, between the ages of 17 and 26 years, attending college in the region.
Since the team was interested in body composition, not just weight, they had the girls hop into a BOD POD, at the start of the study. The BOD POD machine, allowed them to quantify the level of fat i.e. adiposity, of each girl.
Once their body composition had been documented, the girls were then hooked up to an actigraph, a device which measures activity, 24/7.
The sleepy side of college life
The device was worn for seven consecutive days & nights, the only time it was taken off, was when the girls bathed or showered. This allowed the researchers, to keep tabs on what the girls were up to for the week, recording when they were awake and when they were a sleep.
The team then crunched the numbers looking for patterns.
The first pattern they noticed…..
Less sleep more fat
The girls who were not getting sufficient beauty sleep i.e. they were sleeping less than 7 hours a night, were FATTEST.
No surprises here, numerous studies have shown that being sleep deprived, it creates bad body chemistry and leads to bad behaviour, both of which, can pack on the pounds.
But it was the second pattern, that emerged from the data, was a big surprise….
Getting enough sleep was not the whole story.
The team discovered, that the skinniest girls in the group, all did more than just get 8 hours a night, they got their 8 hours, at the same time every night, exhibiting very little variation in sleep and wake times, this can be seen here.
The more variation in bedtime, the more body fat.
This was NOT a calorie effect, remember, in this study, calories were not being counted. What was counted was sleeping time……….
Sleep your way to thin
And the results of this study confirm, sleep counts when it comes to weight watching.
The better you sleep, the skinnier you will be.
But better sleep is not just about quantity and quality, it’s also about consistency. Late nights and lie ins, can encourage fat cells to hold onto their fat stores. Eish !
Putting sleep on the programme
Most weight loss schedules focus on eating less and moving more. In fact, truth be told, the list of things TO DO, when on diet, can actually lead to you getting less sleep, not more. But sleep is essential for weight loss, because this is when fat is being “lost”.
So if you want to lose weight, you need to pay attention, to what is happening in your bedroom.
You want to GET ENOUGH SLEEP and do so CONSISTENTLY.
No matter what
Doesn’t need an introduction, odds are you’re using an alarm to get you out of bed. It might not always be a pretty picture, but it works.
No matter what, you roll out of bed and get going.
The trouble is NO MATTER WHAT, doesn’t happen on the other side of your evenings. What happens the night before, can be all over the place. One night it could be an early night, the next an all nighter, as you scramble to make a deadline or maybe it’s something more pleasant……… a movie marathon on Netflix, or a special evening with friends.
Because you’re sleep savvy – you make a plan to CATCH UP, the sleep you’ve missed.
But, the fat burning machinery is not as flexible. Eish !
This is where a bedtime alarm, can come in handy. It signals, to you to get yourself into bed, around the same time, every night – NO MATTER WHAT.
So how do you use one ?
The ABCS of bedtime alarms
Odds are, you already have busy morning schedules, requiring a set departure time……….., so you’ve got your start time figured out and programme it into your clock or smartphone. This needs to be in place on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.
Make sure it applies on SATURDAY & SUNDAY !
Next, take your start time and subtract 8 hours from it, to calculate the time, you should be climbing into be, to give yourself the option, of getting the 6-8 hours of sleep, needed. So if you’re starting at 6 am, your bedtime should be 10 pm.
Next figure out how long it takes you to get into bed. For me, I can do the bedtime ritual of bathing etc. in 30 minutes, so I buzz myself at 9.30 pm. The alarm signals, it’s time to pack things up and head for bed.
OBEY your alarm
If you do, you’ll end up in bed, pretty much at the same time, each night. The quantity and consistency part of the sleep equation, is handled. The only thing missing, would be quality sleep. Hopefully you’ve got this SORTED – if not, visit our sleep library page for ideas and suggestions.
If you do it regularly, your body sinks itself up with the arrangement.
Long term, the consistency will help you create Better Body Chemistry and keep you slim and trim.
You climbed into bed timeously BUT…. sleep was elusive. Why ? You need to add a new troublemaker to the list of dream stealers… the moon.
You’re a regular Jo, most nights, you climb into bed and ……………you’re off to dreamland. Sleep issues don’t explain your weight problems. Not so fast…….
If you want to avoid a sleepless night, you need melatonin to tuck you into bed, but your night valet is technophobic – so dim that mobile device at bedtime.