Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Good night, sleep tight...

I bought a copy of May’s GLAMOUR magazine (the British edition) and found lots of really interesting articles in that back issue, especially “Lose weight while you sleep!” by Jenny Stamos Kovacs.

Briefly, Dr. Michael Breus and Dr. Steven Lamm created a plan for seven readers and got these women to get at least seven and a half hours of sleep a night. The readers were not required to make diet or exercise changes so as to see if sleep alone would make a difference. One reader saw result as early as in three weeks; another shaved five inches off her waist after ten weeks.

Here's the deal: Sleep more, eat less. Sleep more, have more energy. But what really got my attention was this—Sleep more, store less fat. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“During sleep, your brain excretes a large amount of growth hormone, which tells your body how to break down fat or fuel,” explains Breus. “Deprive your body of deep sleep, and when extra calories get stored as fat, there isn’t enough hormone to break it down. So your body takes a shortcut and packs it away on your butt, thighs, belly—wherever you tend to put on weight.”

So what am I to do? I have the following actions in mind (with lots of sacrifice on Internet time), adapting them from the article:
  1. Go to sleep by 10.30 p.m. and wake up at 6.00 a.m. every weekday maintaining a 7.5 hours’ sleep, with the exception of Friday and Saturday nights so long as the required hours are kept
  2. Start a bedtime routine beginning 45-60 minutes before shuteye—I will RTS (read to sleep) at 9.45 p.m.
  3. Here comes the really hard part—sacrificing coffee after 2.30 p.m. (for booze lovers, no alcohol 3 hours before bedtime)
What I foresee will suffer here is my blogging habit, but I will try my best to manage the change and fit in exercise as well. Another thing I would be doing is I might take up insurance studies, so that’s another area to look into to fit in all those activities while at the same time get ready to go to bed by 9.45 PM!

On a lighter note, here's Garfield for you on planning ahead...