Did you know that there is a direct correlation between the amount of sleep you get and the ease with which you lose weight?

According to Dr. Ethan Lazarus president-elect of Obesity Medicine Association, “quality sleep helps optimize the balance of hormones that support your weight loss efforts, which makes 7 – 9 hours of sleep nightly an essential part of slimming down.”

You probably know that a good night’s sleep can help put you in a good mood, which gives you the resolve to resist unhealthy food habits.

What you probably did not know is that the way sleep directly impacts weight loss. “While you’re sleeping your body produces more leptin, a hormone that helps keep your appetite in check,” says Lazarus.

He goes on to explain that when you don’t get enough sleep your leptin levels are lessened and levels of another hormone, ghrelin (a hormone that makes you hungry) can surge. Higher levels of ghrelin can possibly lead you to crave high fat, high carb foods and overeat.

There are a number of bedtime rituals you can use to help you prepare and maintain a good sleep routine. Nancy H. Rothstein, The Sleep Ambassador,® (http://thesleepambassador.com/) recommends having a nightly sleep routine that includes:

Take a warm shower or bath

Enjoy a cup of sleep-friendly herbal tea (decaffeinated or herbal)

Read a relaxing book

Ensure the temperature in your bedroom is conducive for sleep (65 – 68 degrees)

Maintain a consistent bed and wake time to support your circadian rhythm

Put your phone away about an hour before you go to sleep

So the next time you are wondering why you are having trouble losing weight consider looking at your sleep routine.

In addition to healthy eating and fitness, Janice Litvin speaks and writes about stress and burnout. You can learn more at: www.JaniceLitvin.com or look for her upcoming book, “Banish Burnout Toolkit™” due out in September at Amazon.