Let’s talk about SLEEP and your metabolism … because the two are linked in so many ways.
Poor sleep can lead to weight gain, which can lead to poor sleep, which can lead to weight gain, and on and on! This is not even mentioning the health issues involved with sleep (like sleep apnea).
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?
→ You notice the scale goes up a couple pounds after a few days of bad sleep. It might not be a coincidence. One study followed adults who were limited to 5 hours of sleep over 5 nights. They gained an average of 1.8 lbs (.8 kg)!
→ You feel hungry after a bad night of sleep. This is believed to be linked to two hormones – ghrelin (which signals hunger) and leptin (which signals when you’re full) – that get disrupted without adequate sleep.
Your body releases more ghrelin and less leptin – leaving you feeling hungry!
→ You have less willpower. This is because lack of sleep activates a part of your brain that is sensitive to food stimuli.
Plus … a few studies show that too little sleep can lead to muscle loss. Not only that, but in the Metabolism Jumpstart Guide, it talks about a study that found that you burn less fat when you don’t get enough sleep.
Over time, all of this can really add up!
So … what can you do to improve your sleep? Here are some tips from the National Sleep Foundation:
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, or other stimulants for a few hours before bed.
- Get some exercise during the day.
- Don’t eat heavy meals just before bed.
- Go outside for some sunshine and fresh air to reinforce your body’s natural circadian rhythms.
- Make sure your bedroom is sleep-friendly: dark, not too hot, and quiet (or use a noise machine).
- Avoid naps (especially late in the day) if they disrupt your sleep pattern.
- Create a relaxing evening wind-down routine. Over time this will signal your body it’s time for bed.
- Avoid bright lights and devices that emit blue light for an hour or two before bed, because these can interfere with your body’s sleep cycle.
- If you have trouble sleeping, be sure to talk to your doctor.
If you are doing everything “right” and you aren’t getting the results you want, often it’s things like sleep and stress that are to blame! So it’s definitely worth giving both some attention.
-360 Fitness Team