Is it possible that being sleep deprived can cause you to gain weight? Yes! Many people don’t realize the many health implications of sleep deprivation. It may even be hindering your fat loss efforts.
How does sleep deprivation affect your weight loss efforts?
Three reasons why sleeping may be the missing link to your weight loss efforts:
1. First, when you’re tired, it’s much harder to make healthy choices. I’m not sure if this is more about psychology or physiology or a combination of both. However, I know I have experienced it firsthand.
When I get a good night’s sleep, sticking to my regular exercise and healthy eating routine is a cinch. But when I’m sleep deprived, I suddenly think chocolate and sugar will make me feel better. The truth is, of course, that it never does! It actually makes me feel worse… much worse. This is because the blood sugar highs and lows make me more tired and cranky than before I ate the sweets.
2. Secondly, there is the science connection. Researchers in separate studies have found a link between sleep and the hormones that influence our eating behavior. Two specific hormones are involved.
Ghrelin is responsible for feelings of hunger. Leptin tells the brain when it’s time to stop. When you’re sleep deprived, your ghrelin levels increase at the same time that your leptin levels decrease. The result: An increased craving for food; plus, not feeling full (a disaster for staying on track with a healthy eating plan). Nothing is worse than food cravings and being hungry at the same time.
3. Finally, most people haven’t seen ‘the light’ about this: Your body adjusts itself based on your daily rhythms and the amount of sunlight outside.
Without getting all scientific here, these rhythms and light tell your body to physically recover approximately between the hours of 10 p.m. – 2 a.m. and to mentally recover approximately between 2 a.m. – 6 a.m.
So, if you aren’t getting to bed until 12am, you are missing out on 2 crucial hours of physical repair. This can result in all sorts of aches and pains that do not get better, no matter what you try. I’ve seen people relieve bad backs and achy joints by just getting to bed earlier. I have even seen people get smarter by sleeping ‘til 6 a.m. (OK, I made this last statement up. But wouldn’t it be great if it was true?) All kidding aside, I really have seen people act consistently sharper when they are well rested.
How are you going to get a good night’s sleep to ensure you are not sabotaging your weight loss efforts?
4 Tips To Getting A Good Night’s Sleep:
1. Don’t watch TV immediately before bed. You may not realize how fired up the news or your favorite TV show gets you before bed time. So while in bed, grab a book and read in bed. This works wonders, especially a good fiction book that helps you forget about the day’s events.
2. Cut your caffeine intake early in the day. An afternoon coffee or tea can still be racing through your blood stream at 10 p.m. Cut out your last caffeinated beverage by 3 p.m. This includes ALL coffee and teas (except herbal teas). BTW: Once you catch up on your sleep, you won’t be so dependent on your afternoon java kick.
3. Avoid Sugar before bed. (Of course, you were avoiding sugar anyway… right?) Consuming sugar right before bed leads to a blood sugar roller coaster ride. It can potentially wake you up in the middle of the night due to a blood sugar low.
4. Put your work away before bed. There is nothing worse than having a mind racing at 100 mph before bed. Crunching numbers, solving work problems and studying work documents right before bed is a recipe for insomnia and never a good idea. Try to end all work at least 2 hours before bed. If this is not possible for you, you may need to reassess your work schedule a bit.
Whatever the particular adjustments are for you, remember: Sleep may just be the missing link in your nutrition, exercise and health regimen. Check out the Diet Solution Program to be well on your way to fat loss success.