We all know that healthy eating and exercising is important for weight loss but are you sure you are giving enough importance to your quality of sleep in this respect?
Approximately 40% of the European population is sleep-deprived, meaning all these people do not get more than 6 hours of sleep per night. This is not only a stumbling block when it comes to weight loss but is also detrimental to overall health.
The following are 9 signs pointing towards sleep-deprivation:
1) You are always hungry
2) You have gained weight
3) You are more impulsive
4) You are having trouble making decisions
5) Your motor skills are off
6) Your emotions are all over the place
7) You often get sick
8) You are having trouble seeing
9) Your skin is not looking good
Picking up from the above points, insufficient sleep also negatively impacts those hormones responsible to trigger the feelings of hunger and fullness, namely the ones called ghrelin and leptin respectively.
Ghrelin signals your brain when it is time to eat. When you’re sleep-deprived your body produces more ghrelin resulting in a stronger appetite.
Leptin, on the other hand, tells your brain to lay the fork down upon feeling full. To compound the negative impact on ghrelin when you’re not getting enough sleep, leptin levels also decrease, signalling your brain to eat more food.
Leptin is a hormone that is produced in your fat cells, and the less leptin you produce, the more your stomach feels empty and the less satiating a meal becomes. There is also a repercussion on cortisol levels which become elevated from too little sleep. Cortisol, which is also known as the “stress hormone”, signals your body to conserve energy in order to fuel the first few hours after waking up.
Put the three together and you have a perfect formula for weight gain i.e. fat gains, not muscle gains.
My top tips in getting better quality sleep would be the following:
1) try going to bed at the same time every night
2) make your room as dark as possible
3) strictly avoid distracting yourself with your phone while in bed (most messages can wait!)
4) aim to get at least 7-8 hours of good quality sleep every night
Sweet dreams 🙂
To fitness with love,
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