Lack of Sleep and Weight Gain:
Get Your ZZZ's to Manage Weight
Shirley's 5 Tips For healthy beauty sleep:
1. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep on most nights of the week.
2. If you get less sleep on a given night, try to make up your lost sleep hours within the next few days.
3. Create sleep rituals. Go to bed and wake up each day at approximately the same time. Wind down about an hour before your planned bedtime with relaxing activities, music, guided meditation to create calm, breathing exercises, etc.
4. Don't eat after 8pm or 20:00.
5. Eat lunch before 3pm or 15:00.
Why lack of sleep can lead to weight gain
Do you push yourself to do more and sacrifice that extra hour of sleep? You may be undermining your efforts to keep a healthy weight. Do you sacrifice sleep for that extra hour of early morning exercise? While it's good to have discipline and be active, it's also important to give your body and mind the sleep it needs.
Prioritize getting that extra hour of sleep if your goal is to manage your weight.
This is a powerful point: Studies show that for the same amount of calories consumed, the person who got less sleep, gained more weight. So, if you're training and eating right and working hard to manage your weight, you may be sabotaging all those good efforts by sacrificing sleep.
Scientists have uncovered some of the changes in how we eat that ultimately affect our weight, when we're sleep deprived.
1. Feel hungrier: Ghrelin is a hormone that stimulates appetite and leads to eating more than usual. It's higher in people who have less sleep. Research shows that a sleep loss of 2-3 hours a night stimulates increased ghrelin.
2. Take longer to feel full: Leptin is a hormone that regulates satiety or feelings of fullness. Lower leptin levels result from sleep deprivation and are associated with obesity.
3. Get the Munchies: sleep deprivation increases eCB levels that affects the brain's motivation and reward centers and can stimulate cravings for favorite foods. This is the same system that is stimulated when smoking marijuana. Sleep deprivation gives you the same munchies! Read studies here.
4. Eat irregularly, more frequently and more fast foods: When we're sleep deprived, we tend to grab more snacks and eat meals at unusual times, resulting in more food consumption than usual. We're also more likely to seek fast food options. Right? One of several studies here.
5. Choose more high-fat and less protein rich foods. Several studies show that sleep deprived people are likely to choose less balanced diets with a tendency to eat more fats and less protein. This is something most of us can see in our own behavior. Read a review with a total of 14,906 subjects here.
6. Do more late night eating: Many sleep-deprived people eat late at night, particularly between 10pm and 5am. Eating after 8pm at night can predict the likelihood of higher weight. More interesting research is being conducted on the importance of the timing of eating.
7. Spend more time eating overall: This is an interesting point. When we sleep less, we also have more time, and it seems that we spend that extra time on more eating!
Watch the video below to learn a quick and easy breathing exercise for relaxation. This can be useful to help you wind down after a busy day to get ready for sleep or even to create a moment of calm during your day.
Sleep is essential to good health. I'll be writing another blog post on the significance of sleep for concentration and productivity. In the meantime, if a healthy weight is your goal, please don't sacrifice sleep. Enjoy your zzzs.
Enjoy A Mindful Moment
MINDFUL MOMENTS PODCAST EPISODE 1: BREATH AWARENESS MEDITATION
Breath awareness is the cornerstone of connecting mind and body, being present and calming the nervous system for inner peace, balance and relaxation. This short 2-minute guided meditation introduces you to how to do a breathing meditation.
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