How I Lost Weight by Gaining Sleep

11/05/2013 01:36 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Oh fall back, how I love you, let me count the ways! I love fall back as if it were a true best friend. I know that seems silly, but when you're a busy working mom of three trying to get everyone ready and out the door on time, Monday through Friday, an extra hour of sleep is your BFF! Not to mention that fall is full of extra activities: school, soccer, fundraisers, fourth quarter media buys, year-end donation appeals and, in my husband's case, football. Yes, having an extra hour to sleep in when it's cold and dark outside is the gift that keeps on giving.

Matter of fact, it is sleep that I have to credit for my fall wardrobe looking a little more fabulous this year! Lately, I have had a lot of people asking me if I lost weight. And, while that question is ALWAYS well-received by almost ANY woman, I had to stop and wonder, "Did I really lose weight?"

So, with a little anxiety, I stepped on the scale and looked down at those digital numbers, waiting for the answer to the questions in my head. "Did I lose three pounds, five pounds... more?"

My eyes could barely believe it when I read the scale. I had lost 10 pounds! I leaped off doing the dance of joy (yes, I literally did dance up and down!). After my mini "Yay Me" celebration, another question popped up in my head: How did I lose those pounds? I had been busy the past month with work and the kids' school activities. What had I done differently to lose the weight?

I scanned my memory thinking... I still ate about as healthy as I normally do (yes, I need to eat more fish and veggies) and I was exercising about the same (yes, I need to get to the gym more!)... so what could it be? Then, it hit me... maybe I had lost weight by gaining sleep!

For the past two months my baby boy had finally slept through the night on a regular basis. But, could that really make the difference? Gaining more sleep? After talking with several of my doctor, nurse and health professional friends, they all confirmed that a good night's sleep can helps your body to restore, rejuvenate and even release certain hormones linked to your appetite. A quick search on the Internet validated this newfound revelation: that the quality of sleep does affect the body's ability to lose or gain weight.

Don't believe me? Try it out for yourself. This holiday season when you're cutting calories, cutting carbs, cutting back on all of those tempting treats... try adding in some hours of sleep. Who knows? It may just help you fit back in your skinny jeans too!