iStock 000032242232 XXXLargeHow much do you truly love yourself — deeply, wholly, authentically, and beyond the superficial, ego-based definition? If you just go through the motions of life without being able to awaken to the deeper significance of your choices, you will fail to see and feel the energy you are broadcasting out to the world and what you are inviting into your life as a result.

There are many resources to assist you with your weight loss, some better than others. The basics are universal, though. Move more, make wiser food choices in smaller portions and go to bed. What? Yes! Your sleep habits can have a direct effect on your weight and can even derail the most ambitious weight loss plan.

Sleep Deprivation and Cortisol

Cortisol is the stress hormone that is present in our bodies that helped our ancient ancestors survive danger and starvation. When our bodies create large amounts of cortisol we do two main things: we stay on edge in case of danger and we hold on to our fat in case of starvation. Besides stress the other main contributor to high levels of cortisol is sleep deprivation. When you do not get the sleep you need your cortisol levels shoot up and you become grumpy and the weight will not budge.

Better Sleep in 1, 2, 3

Sleeping better is not as difficult as many people make it out to be. Many people think it is difficult to get a good night’s sleep because what it actually takes is discipline, which many people do not have. However, if you will discipline yourself to the following three sleep rules, you will start sleeping better, decrease cortisol levels and start dropping weight more easily.

Create a bedtime routine– Bedtime routines are not just for babies and toddlers. Anyone who wants to sleep better should have a certain routine for the final hour of their day. Make sure your routine is conducive to peace and calm.

Turn off screens– This is the biggie than no one wants to do at night. However, in order to get better rest, you should turn off all screens one hour before bed. The artificial light generated from smart phones, TVs, computers and tablets signals to your brain that it is still time to be up and busy. Turn off screens and either talk, read, meditate or take a nice warm bath.

Take a supplement– There are many natural herbal supplements that can produce amazing relaxation such as Valerian and Chamomile. These come in either pill or tea form. Many people find tea form more relaxing.