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Losing Sleep May Keep You From Losing Weight

May 20, 2020



My brothers are computer geniuses.

I’m quite the opposite


When they talk shop, it’s like hearing another language. I don’t get it but I’m grateful to have them on speed dial (wait, I guess everyone’s on speed dial these days . . .)


They set up my computer system and keep it running smoothly so I can just turn it on and type.


One of the features they included is text alerts. As a convenience, every time I get a text on my phone it shows up in the upper right-hand corner of my screen. Fun!


It soon became clear (although not as soon as you might think) that intermittent notes from friends were all too welcomed distractions that put a crimp in my productivity.


I’ll spare you the details (not pretty) but suffice it to say I figured out how to turn off text alerts myself (I have to save those help calls for the really important stuff :).


What a difference! Without those interruptions, I stay on task and get done in less time.


Interruptions cost us.

Whether we’re trying to meet a deadline or get a good night’s sleep.


In fact lost sleep may be all that’s standing between you and your goal weight.


Without enough sleep (for adults that’s generally between 7-9 hours each night) your body tries to help you feel more energized by adjusting your hormones to make you hungrier and crave carbs.


A tired, hungry person with cravings stands no chance against the cookie jar.


So here are some fixes for the top 3 sleep interrupters:


  1. Environment—light, noise and temperature can all disrupt sleep. Take stock of your sleep environment and make all necessary adjustments (set thermostat low, have blankets around, experiment with sleep attire, block or move all electronics with lights, try blackout curtains and negotiate with your sleep mate about using nose strips or other snore-aids if necessary).


  1. Nature’s call—if you fall back to sleep easily after your potty breaks, then skip this one. But if bathroom runs have you staring at the ceiling for hours, you need help. [Note: nocturia (nighttime peeing) can be caused by many things. If your sleep is disrupted by this please consult your doctor.] Prevent the need by stopping drinking fluids at least 2 hours before bed. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, both of which make you pee more. And bladder training can work wonders, depending on the cause of the problem (this is where your doctor comes in).


  1. Alcohol—it’s famous for disrupting sleep by effecting circadian rhythms and REM sleep, not to mention the increased need for the bathroom. Typically it helps you fall asleep and then a few hours later you’re up for good. Instead of a nightcap, try happy hour. Drinking well before bedtime means your body metabolizes the alcohol and you have a better chance of sleeping through the night. Of course sticking to the recommended limit of 1 drink for women and 2 for men helps too. Or skip it altogether—save calories and your beauty sleep.



Minimizing sleepy time interruptions can take you from cranky and hungry to refreshed and svelte. That’s what sweet dreams are made of.