Besides work & life many of us have weight loss goals and trying to fit it all in - sleep is often under rated and we rather drink a few cuppas more than going to bed earlier - am I right?
Research has shown that not enough sleep can have a massive impact on our weight loss journey and many other disadvantages for our health.
(A major review found that short sleep duration increased the likelihood of obesity by 89% in children and 55% in adults)
When you do not get adequate sleep, the body makes more Ghrelin and less Leptin (two hormones in charge for your hunger) leaving you hungry and increasing your appetite.
In addition, the hormone cortisol is higher when you do not get adequate sleep. Cortisol is a stress hormone that may also increase appetite.
The result: You are more likely to grab anything you can to get that energy kick, which often results in snacking sugary foods rather than food that would actually benefit you.
Researchers found that when dieters cut back on sleep over a 14-day period, the amount of weight they lost from fat dropped by 55%, even though their calories stayed equal. They felt hungrier and less satisfied after meals, and their energy was zapped.
Being low on sleep you might be more tempted to skip exercise - feeling too tired and fatigue
But besides that, poor sleep effects your brain & decision making:
Sleep deprivation will actually dull activity in the frontal lobe of the brain. The frontal lobe is in charge of decision-making and self-control which results in lacking the impulse control to say no.
1. Poor sleep is a major risk factor for weight gain & obesity
2. poor sleep can increase your appetite
3. sleep helps you fight cravings & make healthy choices
4. poor sleep can increase your calorie intake
5 poor sleep may decrease your resting metabolism & increase muscle loss
6. sleep can enhance physical activity
Along with eating right and exercising, getting quality sleep is an important part of your health & weight loss journey
Poor sleep dramatically alters the way the body responds to food.
TIPS FOR BETTER SLEEP
• Shut down your computer, cell phone, and TV at least an hour before going to bed.
• Save your bedroom for sleep. Think relaxation and release, rather than work or entertainment
• Create a bedtime ritual. It's not the time to tackle big issues. Instead, take a warm bath, meditate, or read.
• Stick to a schedule, waking up and retiring at the same times every day, even on weekends.
• Watch what and when you eat. Avoid eating heavy meals, caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime, as they might make it hard to fall asleep. (Caffeine can stay in your system for 5 to 6 hours)
• No lights. Darkness cues your body to release the natural sleep hormone Melatonin, while light suppresses it.
You can also start tracking your sleep and see how "good/bad" it actually is. Free apps like Sleepcycle, Pillow or SleepWatch can be a great indicator. Or use your smart watch if you have one.