Are Your Sleeping Habits Sabotaging Your Fat Loss Goals?
Are your sleep habits sabotaging your fat loss goals?
If you want clear skin, a healthy body composition and better performance in your day, you NEED to get enough sleep. The average human needs about 7-8.5 hours of sleep nightly whereas most of us are increasingly getting less. Considering Canada is the third-most sleep-deprived country, with nearly 1/3 of us saying we don't get enough sleep. In my humble opinion, “sleep when you’re dead” is the worst piece of advice probably ever.
Learn more below (added bonus: some tips on how you can get a good night's sleep!)
In one 2013 study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, it was found that a lack of sleep led to weight gain despite changes in hunger and satiety hormones. Especially in women, it was found that lack of sleep reduced dietary restraint and let to weight gain - something I'm sure we've all experienced. Fatigue pushes our lizard brains to desire more food as a way to increase wakefulness. Unfortunately in our society, food is readily available, meaning our desire to eat more when tired can easily be done.
Fortunately, this study also found that getting enough sleep at night can support weight loss - both from improving our willpower with food consumption as well as physiological mechanisms in energy metabolism. So yes, there's hope for you and your sleep-deprived body. Let's get you back on track...
Here are some tips to get you sleeping well at night.
- No alcohol at least 3 hours before bed.
- Alcohol can interrupt our body's natural circadian rhythm, preventing us from getting into deep REM sleep.
- Reduce overhead lighting. Try candles or salt lamps instead.
- Our lizard brains don't exactly understand that overhead lighting is artificial light. Instead, it's interpreted as being sunlight which can confuse our brains if it's time to sleep or not.
- Say goodnight to your phone at least an hour before heading to bed.
- Same reasoning as above, having exposure to screens and excess lighting in the evenings can cause disruption of the sleep-wake cycle. Not to mention screen time can provoke stress and anxiety for many of us.
- Cooler environments are better for sleeping in so turn the thermostat down a couple degrees in your bedroom.
- Our hypothalamus needs a few cues in order to understand it's bed time. Cool, low-lit environments are key.
- Sip on a cup of chamomile, peppermint and lavender tea.
- All of these herbs are wonderful for reducing anxiety and stress while promoting relaxation.
- Have sexy time with your sexy significant other.
- Oxytocin, the hormone released during orgasm, is a great natural seep aid!
How many hours of sleep do you get a night? Do you have any tips that can help with getting and staying asleep?
Markwald, R. R., Melanson, E. L., Smith, M. R., Higgins, J., Perreault, L., Eckel, R. H., & Wright, K. P. (2013). Impact of insufficient sleep on total daily energy expenditure, food intake, and weight gain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(14), 5695–5700. http://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1216951110