Self-Care Essentials for Weight Loss: Why Sleep is Your Number One Priority
Photo by Source: Dakota Corbin on Unsplash
Are you wondering what sleep has to do with weight loss?
Have you ever flown on an airplane?
Every time I fly the flight attendant reminds me that if there is a loss of cabin pressure, make sure to put the oxygen mask on myself before putting a mask on my child. We tend to put others first and our instinct might be to put the mask on those that we love first. But if we don’t take care of ourselves, we will be unable to help others around us. Our good intentions won’t help anyone if we can’t function to help them.
Today I want to share with you an important self-care habit to ensure that you are operating at your highest level to give yourself the best chance to optimize your weight loss.
You. Must. Sleep.
Sleep is vital. According to the Centers for Disease Control more than 35% of people are sleep deprived (1). It is recommended that you get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that those that got only 5.5 hours of sleep lost less body fat than if they got more sleep (2). If you are not getting enough sleep you are sabotaging your efforts and decreasing the effectiveness of all the things you did right during the day.
It’s All About the Hormones
Your weight is controlled by several different hormones in your body. Lack of sufficient sleep affects these hormones and can affect your weight.
Insulin is a fat storage hormone. Lack of sleep causes decreased insulin sensitivity leading to increased fat storage.
Ghrelin is increased which causes increased hunger signals and a decreased metabolism. That is certainly a bad combination!
Decreased leptin means your stomach feels empty leaving you longing for more.
Cortisol is a stress hormone that can be released when you are sleep deprived. This can lead to an increased desire for food.
Increase the likelihood of a good night’s sleep. Turn off screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Develop a bedtime routine. Stick to a schedule. Your body likes routines. Set a bedtime and stick to it as much as possible. Don’t set snooze alarms. Pushing snooze multiple times just means that your last bit of sleep is completely interrupted. Sleep until the alarm goes off and then 5,4,3,2,1…get up and be awesome!
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