Fitness

Sleep On It

You want to lose weight? Immediately you probably think “Okay, I am going to start exercising and change my eating habits.” You’re right, those things will certainly help your efforts. Fast forward 2-4 months and you haven’t lost as much as you think you should have. What could be going wrong? The answer, and solution is a lot more pleasant than you may think… (in my opinion). You could be sleep deprived. Who would have thought that a lack of sleep could hinder weight loss?

Give some thought to this intriguing statistic from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention: “more than 35% of people are sleep deprived.” Do you think that it’s a coincidence that the statistic for obesity is nearly identical? Bad sleeping habits won’t just make you groggy and force you to make a B-line to the coffee machine, it also changes your fat cells. All it takes is about four nights of poor sleep to completely disrupt your body’s ability to use insulin effectively. “When you become more insulin resistant, fat (lipids) circulate in your blood and pump out more insulin. Eventually this excess insulin ends up storing as fat…”. Sound familiar?

Poor sleep ignites those hunger cravings! Controlling hunger involves two hormones:

leptin and ghrelin.

Less leptin = feeling of an empty stomach

More ghrelin = hunger stimulation

“Research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that sleeping less than 6 hours triggers the area of the brain that increases the need for food while also depressing leptin and stimulating ghrelin.” Lack of sleep makes the balance of the two hormones very difficult. So, we need sleep, clearly. I’m certainly not opposed to the idea. How can you make an effort to get more or better-quality sleep? (7-9 hours a night is recommended)

• No phone 1 hour before bed

• Read a book

• Calming essential oils like Lavender or Chamomile

• Gentle stretching to relax and calm your muscles

• Exercise during the day

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