Sleep is important for many aspects of health, including your weight. Studies show that people who don’t get enough sleep tend to gain more weight including unhealthy belly fat.
Sleep deprivation causes changes to hormones that regulate hunger and appetite. A hormone called leptin suppresses appetite and encourages the body to burn calories; sleep deprivation reduces leptin. Another hormone called ghrelin has the opposite effect in the body; it triggers feelings of hunger—and ghrelin goes up when you don’t get enough sleep.
Sleep deprivation can cause cravings for fatty sugary junk foods. Furthermore, when you are chronically over-tired, you tend to make poor decisions about food and give in to your junk food impulses.
A lack of sleep makes you more likely to eat more of your daily calories at night which can lead to weight gain. And it’s been shown that you’re more likely to overeat the next day after a poor night’s sleep.
BETTER SLEEP TIPS AND TRICKS
These strategies are listed in order of importance. Give them a try for a more restful sleep.
- Start a consistent sleep routine. Get in bed at the same time every night and set the alarm for the same time every morning.
- Set the tone. All screens should be off at least 30 minutes before you get in bed. No TV, computer, or phone. Reading a book or a magazine in dim light is a much better option.
- Cool it down! 65 degrees or cooler is ideal for sleeping, but just make sure that you aren’t waking up sweating in the middle of the night.
- No caffeine after 3pm.
- No food or alcohol 3 – 4 hours before bed. This will help your digestion as well.
- Start a 10 –20 minute before-bed meditation practice. Try an app like Headspace.
- When all else fails, try: Celestial Seasonings Sleepy Time Tea, Yogi Soothing Caramel Bedtime Tea, lavender essential oils , time-released melatonin, magnesium, CBD (cannabidiol). NOTE: always consult with your physician before starting any of these supplements.
Once you get your sleep in order, let’s talk about your eating habits. I’d be happy to help you create a personalized eating plan. Give me a call!