Even the best efforts to count calories, cut down on fat, and exercise can leave you falling short of your goals when you don’t have good sleeping habits. Poor sleep can make it harder for you to lose weight and may intensify cravings for your favorite comfort foods. Besides, without enough rest, you won’t have the energy to exercise.
Healthy sleep is closely related to other healthy lifestyle factors, like exercise and diet, and plays a huge role in helping you stay mentally and physically energetic and healthy.
The Importance of Sleep, Exercise, and Diet
Good sleep habits and a healthy lifestyle — eating right and exercising — work together in a cyclical fashion. “A healthy lifestyle promotes sleep and, at the same time, adequate sleep also helps promote a healthy lifestyle,
Think about it. You need to be well rested to have the energy for a workout. And regular exercise can help to manage your stress levels and tire you out so that you sleep well at night. Being physically active also encourages you to make other healthy lifestyle choices. Just be sure to exercise no later than a few hours before bedtime so that you aren’t all revved up when you should be winding
Your eating habits are also connected to sleep. Eating a large meal just before bedtime can affect your quality of sleep. And not getting enough healthy sleep can trigger food cravings. “There is some preliminary data that shows that shortened sleep will increase your craving for carbohydrates and lead to weight gain,. So when you find yourself giving in to your pizza craving, you might try getting more sleep.
Sleep’s Impact on Overall Health
In addition to helping you manage your weight, getting healthy sleep (along with exercising and eating a healthy diet) can help you:
Prevent and manage a number of diseases, including diabetes and heart disease
Boost your energy levels
Increase alertness and improve concentration and memory
Manage stress levels
“Getting inadequate sleep by itself is a cause of stress on the body,” . Sleep deprivation boosts your body’s stress hormones. And if you can’t cope with stress, your sleep will suffer.
So ask yourself these questions: Are you getting enough sleep — between seven and eight hours each night? And is it healthy sleep — do you feel rested each morning when you wake?
Sleep works together with exercise and diet to keep your mind and body healthy, and for a healthy lifestyle, you need to practice all three — it’s hard to succeed in any one part of the puzzle without fitting in the other two.