Some times in our lives we notice that for no apparent reason we seem to gain your weight, or maybe all of the sudden we feel hunger more often than normal for no apparent reason. No drastic changes have been made to our exercise routine or eating habits, yet weight still seems to pile up on us.
Weight gain is complicated and most often the result of the combination of various factors. Lack of sleep alone is not responsible for obesity, but it can be a helping factor to weight gain.
There are many reasons why lack of sleep may result in weight gain, one is because of the change it may have in the production and suppression of certain hormones that regulate our appetite.
Studies have shown that insufficient sleep can alters the levels of leptin and ghrelin, which are hormones involved in the regulation of appetite and body fat.
Leptin is a hormone which signals the brain to stop feeling hungry, and ghrelin is a hormone that signals hunger to the brain. For more information about these 2 important weight loss hormones this article gives an easy to understand description.
Another reason lack of sleep may be causing us to eat more and gain weight is because lack of sleep can also have an effect on cortisol. Cortisol stimulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism which can result in an increase in appetite.
Studies have showed that during periods of lack of sleep, cortisol levels rise.
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Besides all the biology behind lack of sleep and weight gain, there are more reasons of why lack of sleep may be causing you to gain weight.
Simply put people who stay awake longer have more opportunities to eat. In addition to having more hours to eat, we are also less likely to take the time to prepare a healthy meal and tend to go for the fast option which most of the time tends to be high on calories.
Maybe you are trying to sleep more or maybe you work late night shifts and it is harder for you to get sleep. If you can’t avoid being up late and having to eat at late hours, here are some tips to help you stay healthy.
•Plan meals: This can not only help you have available a healthy food selection, but can help you improve meal timing. By doing this you can also help you avoid hurting your sleeping habit. Try to schedule your last big meal no closer than 2 hours from when you are planning to go to sleep.
•Buy or prepare your food in advance: If you need to eat at late hour, you can plan your healthy option so it is ready for you.
•Get engaged: Give your self something to do. Try to get regular breaks throughout the evening to relax, and/or refresh. Doing this can help take eating time away.
Getting enough sleep is a necessary step we can take in order to get a better eating habit, and to improve our health.
Weight gain is only one of the many side effects of insufficient sleep, but it can lead to other health problems. More sleep will not automatically result in weight loss, but by getting sufficient sleep and creating a regular sleeping schedule will help you control your appetite and give you a healthier eating pattern.
7 TIPS TO START SLEEPING BETTER!
Most times we take for granted the importance of sleep, and how beneficial it is for our body in order to feel better and even fight illnesses.Once in a while, we may have trouble sleeping and most likely because of:
• Health Problems & Medicines
• Long work hours/ Shift work
• Light or noise
• Drinking alcohol or eating too close to bedtime
Here are some tips to help you fall asleep, and to stay asleep. For some people these tips may not be enough due to different conditions and situations people may be gong through.
Start by following these tips to help your self get more rest and allow your body to recover from your daily activities. Try all these tips together and do not start by taking more aggressive methods such as medication.
Sometimes because we tried all these methods at some point we get the impression that they do not work for us, but some times we don’t try them all together or it takes our bodies a couple of days to develop a good sleeping habit.
-Set a schedule.The body and the brain naturally looks for patterns, establishing a schedule will help your body to naturally fall asleep and wake up naturally at the time you choose. Disrupting our body’s sleep schedule may lead to insomnia.
Exercise 20 to 30 minutes a day. Exercise often helps with sleep, but it is best to exercise 5 to 6 hours before bed time to allow your Hear rate to slow down.
Avoid caffeine, especially at late hours of the day.- Even though some people report not feeling the effects of caffeine, the subtle change in heart rate may be enough to keep you awake.
Relax before bed. – Get in the habit of starting a calm routine before bed, such as getting things ready for the next day, reading, or a warm bath.
Get rid of any lights in your room.- Things like alarm clocks, smoke detectors, and modem lights can disrupt our sleep and disturbing the production of Melotonin in the body.
Use ambient noise such as Relax Melodies – Ambient noise helps mask or cover any external noises that may occur during your sleep time such as a neighbor activating his car alarm when getting home late.
Continuously drive your attention away from invasive thoughts – Just like meditation you avoid fixating in one thought, invasive and recurring thoughts may accelerate your heart rate and disrupt your sleep.
Go to bed when you start feeling tired- When we start feeling sleepy is when our body starts producing Melotonin, you will have an easier time falling asleep.
Avoid all devices such as phones, tablets and even the good old TV for at least an hour before bed so that you give your brain time to relax from being exposed to the light omitted from these devices.
Brain dump any thoughts on paper. A handy tactic I often use when i have lots of thoughts, ideas and things I am worrying about running through my brain is too dump them all on paper. I am not sure of the science behind this but it does help to calm your mind and allow it to switch off in preparation for sleep.
I believe good quality sleep is vital for consistent and long term weight loss. If you are not sleeping well and trying to lose weight you will face a struggle to stay on track. When you are younger, you can get away with lack of sleep as your hormone and metabolic levels are still high. However, the older you get, you need your metabolism and hormone levels to be as consistent as possible which is greatly helped by getting enough quality sleep.
I don’t think it’s a big coincidence that the issue we are seeing with obesity is also happening at the same time that we have a sleep crisis in our society.
Have you got a sleep problem? Have you noticed weight loss from improved sleep or weight gain from lack of sleep?
Would love to hear you comments below.
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