“I’m fasting daily, tracking my macros, carb cycling, and exercising regularly. But I’m still not losing weight! What am I doing wrong?!”
So many identify with this. Keep reading and you might find the solution to your obstacle.
Dialing in your nutrition and fine tuning your workout routine are essential to improving your health. But if you’re there and still not seeing results, it may be time to dig a little deeper. SLEEP- or lack thereof- plays a major role in our metabolism, immune system, and hormonal balance. It’s so important for both physical and mental health and preventing disease. There are many other factors that play into successful weight loss and maintenance and SLEEP is a big one! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 35 percent of people are sleep deprived.
A little about the science of sleep
We know that losing weight is all about controlling INSULIN. Inadequate sleep actually hinders your body’s ability to properly use insulin and the process becomes completely disrupted. In fact, the University of Chicago researchers found that with as few as four days of sleep deprivation, insulin sensitivity dropped by more than 30 percent.
When your insulin is functioning well, fat cells remove fatty acids and lipids from your bloodstream and prevent storage. When you become more insulin resistant, fats (lipids) circulate in your blood and pump out more insulin. Eventually this excess insulin ends up storing fat in all the wrong places, such as tissues like your liver. This leads to weight gain and often the debilitating disease, diabetes.
You also notice when you’re sleep deprived you feel hungrier and often crave carbohydrates. This is not because you don’t have enough will power. It’s science!
HUNGER is controlled by two hormones: LEPTIN and GHRELIN. You need adequate amounts of both to lose weight, and research shows that sleeping less than six hours triggers the area of your brain that increases your need for food while also depressing leptin and stimulating ghrelin.
And INSULIN, LEPTIN, and GHRELIN are not the only hormones disrupted by poor sleeping patterns. Lack of sleep increases CORTISOL. Cortisol, the stress hormone, is another hormone that must be controlled to lose weight. High levels of CORTISOL activate reward centers in your brain that make you want food. At the same time, the loss of sleep causes your body to produce more GHRELIN, the hunger hormone. This combination of high hormone levels shuts down the areas of your brain that leave you feeling satisfied after a meal, meaning you feel HUNGRY all the time—even if you just ate a big meal.
The bottom line is lack of sleep is a recipe for disaster when it comes to weight loss. It’s not that you don’t have the willpower to make good choices and control your portions. It’s that your body is working against you!
So how much sleep should we be getting in a night? While there’s no hard number, a good rule of thumb is seven and nine hours of sleep per night. We also want to ensure that one poor night of sleep isn’t followed up with more. It might not seem like much, but it could make all the difference and mean more than any other health decision you make.
Let’s talk about quality of sleep! Quality of sleep is just as important to all these hormonal processes as lack of sleep. We are all so busy, running a million different directions, that even when we try to settle down for the night, our brains are still working on overload. Here are a few simple tried-and-true tips you can DO to improve your quality of sleep.
Here are 3 life changing products that help me achieve the PERFECT night’s sleep.
SLEEP is TOO IMPORTANT to cut corners. If you think your sleep (quantity or quality) may be affecting your weight loss or health goals, or if you just want the best sleep possible, give these tips a try! SWEET DREAMS!