You Snooze, You Loose…

HOW SLEEPING CAN HELP YOU LOOSE WEIGHT

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If your not getting enough sleep at night it could be causing you to gain weight.

 

Think about it: If you’re feeling sleepy at work, you may be tempted to reach for a cup of coffee (or several cups) and a doughnut for a quick shot of energy. Later you may skip the gym and pick up takeout on your way home to your family — no time to cook. When you finally find yourself back in your bed, you are too wound up to sleep.

It’s a vicious cycle, and eventually this sleep deprivation can sabotage your waistline and your health.

Hitting the sack is just as important as sweating at the gym. These are your best excuses to hit the snooze button and get more sleep. (If your late for work every morning do not be blaming me!)

Skimming On Sleep

Skimping on sleep sets your brain up to make bad decisions. It starts out innocently enough. When you are sleep deprived and are running on low energy, you automatically go for a chocolate bar or a bag of sweets or other comfort foods

The immediate result? You may be able to fight off sleepiness and gain some energy.

The ultimate result? Unwanted pounds as poor food choices coupled with lack of exercise set the stage for obesity and further sleep loss.

So while you might be able to squash comfort food cravings when you’re well-rested, your sleep-deprived brain may have trouble saying no to a second slice of cake.

If you are not getting enough minutes of sleep or good quality sleep, your metabolism will not function properly. It will slow down because its trying to preserve its energy for your daily activities because your not providing yourself with the energy from a good sleep.

Hunger Hormones

Sleep is like nutrition for the brain. Most people need between 7 and 9 hours each night. Get less than that, and your body will react in ways that lead even the most determined dieter straight to Ben & Jerry’s.

Why? Because insufficient sleep impacts your hunger and fullness hormones, including two called ghrelin and leptin.

– Ghrelin signals your brain that it’s time to eat. When you’re sleep-deprived, your body makes more ghrelin. (making you feel like you need to be eating every hour)

– Leptin, on the other hand, cues your brain to put the fork down. When you’re not getting enough sleep, leptin levels plummet, signalling your brain to eat more food.

Put the two together, and it’s no wonder sleep deprivation leads to overeating and extra pounds.

Then there’s the cortisol spike that comes from too little sleep. This stress hormone signals your body to conserve energy to fuel your waking hours.

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Here are my Tricks and Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep

In today’s world, snoozing can be difficult, particularly when all your screens (computers, TVs, phones, tablets) lure you into staying up just a little longer.

The basics are pretty simple:

  • Shut down your computer, phone, and TV at least an hour before you hit the sack.
  • Save your bedroom for sleep and sex. 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 and alcohol close to bedtime, which may cause heartburn and make it hard to fall asleep. And steer clear of soda, tea, coffee, and chocolate after 2 p.m. Caffeine can stay in your system for 5 to 6 hours.
  • Turn out the lights. Darkness cues your body to release the natural sleep hormone melatonin, while light suppresses it

 

There you have it. Get a better sleep, skip the junk food, have more energy and loose weight. Easy.

– Aaron McC

Evolve Health & Performance

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