Sleep Away Weight Gain!
The Power of sleep is amazing. We have all heard time and time again how important it is, but when we have deadlines to meet, test’s to cram for, or children crying in the next room we can quickly forget just how important it is for our own health to have adequate sleep. Sometimes we just need to be reminded…
Sleep deprived people often suffer more from:
2. Type 2 Diabetes
3. Heart Disease
4. High Blood Pressure
8. Poor memory
9. Premature aging
WOW! What a great list of reasons to aim for as much sleep as we can possibly get! Today I am only focusing on one thing: The affect sleep (or lack thereof) has on your waistline. It’s astounding how much only a few hours every night can affect how much fat you may gain or lose, but it makes complete sense! The average adult needs 7-8 hours per night. Children need 11 and teens need 9-10.
It starts out innocently enough…when you haven’t slept much and are running on low energy, you almost automatically reach for comfort foods like chips or candy. You might be able to fend off sleepiness short term with the sugar rush but ultimately the lack of sleep begins to set the stage for weight gain….
Exactly How Lack of Sleep Affects Our Ability to Lose Weight
…Has much to do with nightly hormones.
“LEFTIN” is the hormone that tells you to stop eating or that you are satisfied. When you are sleep deprived you produce less Leftin. Meaning if you are producing less Leftin from not getting enough sleep, you may not be satisfied with one donut…it might take 5 until you feel you have had enough. Yikes!
“GHRELIN” is the hormone that stimulates your appetite and tells you when to eat…and when you are sleep deprived you have MORE Ghrelin! What does that mean? YOU WANT TO EAT MORE!!!!
I can tell you that when I don’t get enough sleep I definitely feel like I want to snack on crappy food all day long. It’s almost like I feel that the crappy food is going to give me a “surge” of energy that never really comes. Studies done at Stanford and University of Wisconsin on 70,000 women show that specifically, those who slept the fewest hours per night weighed the most. Women who slept 5 hours or less per night generally weigh more than women who sleep 7 hours per night. In these studies, women who slept 5 hours per night were 32% more likely to experience major weight gain (an increase of 33 lbs or more) and 15% more likely to become obese compared to those sleeping 7 hours per night.
Um OK So What Can I Do To Help This Sleep Thing Along?
Tips for better sleep…
1. Avoid caffeine and other “uppers” in the afternoon. Not just because they may make it harder to FALL asleep, but because they will keep you in a LIGHTER stage of sleep. Deep sleep is where it’s at!
2. Avoid big meals and alcohol before bed.
3. Don’t Smoke.
4. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes per day.
5. Make the atmosphere at home RELAXING at bedtime. This means putting a muzzle on chaos…put the dang blackberry AWAY when you lay in bed, along with any work that needs to be done.
6. Minimize light exposure at night by keeping the t.v. or computer off and the curtains closed.
7. Try to keep a regular schedule. (Go to bed and wake up about the same time everyday)
Sometimes we may be in bed sleeping for 8 hours, but because the quality of sleep is so bad, may only be getting 2 hours of good sleep! If you feel like you aren’t getting the sleep you need, it may be a good idea to look into a great new gadget I found called the Zeo Sleep Tracker. This device actually tells you how long you are in your deep REM sleep, dreaming and how long you are awake. I challenge you to really focus on getting enough sleep for the next 30 days and see how much you feel the difference. Don’t let SLEEP hold you back from meeting your goals!!