Sleep: One of the Basic Parts of Living Healthy

Not getting enough sleep can wreck your hormones, and hormones are a key factor in weight loss. Leptin and Ghrelin are the hormones that control your hunger and fullness. Ghrelin tells your body you’re hungry, and leptin tells your brain that you’re full. When you are not getting adequate sleep your body produces more ghrelin and less leptin. That is a terrible combo when it comes to weight management because it results in overeating and Another hormone that plays a role in weight management is cortisol. When you are sleep deprived your body produces more cortisol which signals your body to conserve energy to fuel waking hours; aka your body holds on to its fat stores and your metabolism decreases.

Lack of sleep also dulls your decision making and obviously decreases your energy which sets you up to make poorer health choices. You might be more likely to skip a workout due to fatigue, and grab an energy drink or a sugary snack for a quick energy boost. While these actions may not be detrimental on occasion, but over time poor choices such as these add up to extra pounds and inches around your waistline. Poor choices in combination with the hormonal chaos that happens from lack of sleep will seriously hinder your progress in a fitness journey. Here are some steps you will take in order to enhance your quality of sleep.

  • Adjust the room temperature so that it’s between 60-68 degrees fahrenheit. The National Sleep Foundation states that anything above 75 degrees F or below 54 degrees F results in very disrupted sleep.

  • Unplug from electronics at least 30 minutes before bed. This means no TV, social media, or digital games. These things are more likely to stimulate your brain and create anxiety at a time when you want your brain to be decompressing. Even if you feel that TV helps you fall asleep, it is still causing your brain to process at a time you want it to be idling.

  • Take the 30 minutes prior to bed to relax and decompress.

  • Turn off all lights including glowing from a computer or device.

  • Don’t drink or consume caffeine past 12 pm. Caffeine in the morning is ok, but it can stay in your system for 6-8 hours causing you to not get quality sleep if it is consumed later in the day even if you are not feeling the effects any longer.

  • Practice breathing techniques and stretching. Deep breathing promotes alpha waves in the brain which enhance overall relaxation.

Your goal for this week is to keep track of how many hours of sleep you get each night. Strive for 7-9 hours. If you are falling short of that make it a priority to go to bed 15-45 minutes earlier each night until you are reaching an ideal number of hours of sleep. 

Make Sure You’re Remembering The 5 Nutritional Guidelines Each Day.

Check in with yourself at the end of each day as you’re winding down from the day preparing for sleep, and note where you did well and what you can improve on tomorrow.

Click here to view the 5 Nutritional Guidelines

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The information contained within this program is for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider for any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen.