Here are some reasons that getting a good night's sleep is important:
1. Lower cortisol levels - when your body is sleep deprived it produces more of the stress hormone, cortisol. Higher cortisol levels can cause the body to store fat and increase the hunger hormone.
2. Increased motivation - poor sleep or not enough sleep leaves you feeling exhausted, dazed, even a little grumpy. Any motivation you had to reach for good food choices or to take time for exercise goes out the window.
3. Managed hunger hormones - Those who get adequate sleep tend to eat fewer calories than those who don't. Sleep deprivation disrupts the daily fluctuations in appetite hormones and is believed to cause poor appetite regulation. This includes higher levels of ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates appetite, and reduced levels of leptin, the hormone that suppresses appetite.
4. Reduced insulin sensitivity - lack of quality sleep can affect insulin levels. When insulin levels are off, your body will start to store fat instead of burn it.
When you cut back in sleep, you also cut back the amount of fat loss you can lose by half.
Try these tips for better sleep:
1. Do your workout at least 3 hours before bedtime. Physical activity promotes deep sleep, but too close to bedtime can stimulate the body and keep you awake.
2. Reduce your screen time. Playing on your phone or laptop, watching television can prevent the body from producing the sleep hormone, melatonin.
3. Create a sleep sanctuary. Dark and cool rooms promote better sleep. Use black out curtains, cover the glow on your digital clock, wear a sleep mask to block out light. Decrease the temperature in the room you sleep in to signal the body that it is time to go to sleep.
4. Eat whole foods. What you eat throughout the day can promote better sleep. Avoiding processed foods will help you fall asleep and stay asleep longer. Consuming proteins, healthy fats and complex carbs will promote the fat burning process and muscle growth while you sleep.
So, in addition to making good food choices and exercising daily, getting enough sleep is important for fat loss and our overall health.
See information on my next round of FASTer Way to Fat Loss® here.