Every night without fail, I say I’m going to bed after I put the kids in bed between 7 and 8 p.m.
Every night I fail. I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about, moms.
I work hard, I do every last little “Mommy, I need you, and no Daddy won’t do” demand of my children.
That includes making sure water bottles are filled for school, backpacks are ready and school uniforms are at least in the dryer.
But a new study done in the U.K. may cause every mother to rethink her nightly routines.
More sleep, less weight
The study, published July 27, indicates longer sleep is associated with lower body mass index (BMI) and favorable metabolic profiles.
Let’s hear the grumbling… I get it, because my superpower is functioning off far too much coffee after four to six hours of sleep a night.
However, the study found people who had a robust amount of sleep had on average 1.2 inches or more smaller waistline, despite what their diet was. It told moms everywhere that six hours of sleep just won’t cut the waistline.
Wait…. So if I slept more, I can cut out walking up nine flights of stairs at work and just take the elevator? (Doubtful).
The study also found people who had better sleep routines ate better and were more active in general.
Let your body do the work
The study cites natural physiological processes during sleep, when metabolism is in hyper drive burning off what we eat during the day.
“It’s not so much that if you sleep, you will lose weight, but if you are sleep-deprived, meaning that you are not getting enough minutes of sleep or good quality sleep, your metabolism will not function properly.” — Dr. Michael Breus, aka “Sleep Doctor,” based in Glendale, Ariz.
Numerous studies in the U.S. have similarly proven sleep-deprived people often make poor eating and exercising decisions.
“When you have sleep deprivation and are running on low energy, you automatically go for a bag of potato chips or other comfort foods.” — Dr. Susan Zafarlotfi, University Medical Center clinical director in Hackensack, N.J.
Perhaps I should give up my secret Oreo and milk midnight snack habit.
Hold on, I know what you are thinking, “I will just sleep away my weight.” The Mayo Clinic said you can also increase waist size if you sleep over the recommended eight to nine hours a night.
Why moms stay up?
The U.K. study used other studies during the process to look at why people stayed up so late. Mothers were the most guilty of staying up too late and not getting enough sleep.
The seven core reasons:
- Peace and quiet. No kids are asking for another sippy cup or cookie. They aren’t negotiating to be taken to the park.
- Need for “me” time, or uninterrupted time, without mommy or wife responsibilities.
- Need for “decompressing” time. That comes in many forms, from binge-watching shows to zoning out scrolling through social media.
- Inability to shut off work brain, especially working moms. (I’m SO guilty of this one.)
- Desire to start and finish any house, family or personal projects, including getting to that book you’ve been wanting to get to. (I’m guilty of this one, too.)
- Uninterrupted shower or bath time. There is literally no sacred place in your home from the tiny humans who have taken it over.
- No family noise distractions. Does everyone have what they need? Is the laundry done? (Again, very guilty of this one).
How moms get to bed earlier?
One way moms can get to bed faster, getting the needed amount of sleep, starts with setting obtainable schedules, according to the study.
- Starting nightly routines earlier, so you can still have the much-needed time after kids have gone to bed, but still crawl into bed at a decent time.
- Talking with your family physicians about sleep patterns, deprivation and desired changes.
The study said the things moms stay up for are not bad. The problem is that the lack of sleep is hurting more than occasionally grabbing a doughnut.
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