Dieting is No Match For Sleep

Mid adult woman sleeping

Get your ZZZ’s to stay healthy!

Getting a good night’s sleep isn’t just about feeling rested. If you are trying to lose weight a good night sleep might help you more than passing on dessert.

On Nov 3rd we set our clocks back an hour and (in theory) gave ourselves an extra hour of sleep. I LOVE sleep, actually I would say I have a borderline obsession with sleep. (I think it’s from many years of sleep deprivation that brought me to this place.)

It is no wonder that many rejoice at the thought of an extra hour of sleep. But what is also as common as this rejoicing among Americans is the lack of sleep, or better yet known by many medical specialists, sleep deprivation.

Most of you will welcome this extra hour since the other 364 nights of the year you spend many days sleep deprived. Read on wellness warriors

Sleep Deprivation Stunts Your Weight Loss Efforts

Let me give it to you straight – Focusing (obsessing) on nutrition to balance hormones, increase metabolism, maintain proper blood sugar and calorie balance is all undone, gone, “poof!”, kaput –   IF you are not getting good quality sleep. Sleep deprivation causes your hormones to get all whacky; the same ones that regulate metabolism, appetite, blood sugar, etc. Oh yeah, and the same ones you are trying to manipulate with your diet. It’s a little bit like banging your head against the wall then wondering why you have a headache (which, by the way, sleep deprivation increases headaches).

Research shows that just one night of sleep deprivation reduces the number of calories burned the next day-contributing to storing excess calories as fat.  Another study found that when people slept 5.5 hours a night and calories were reduced (ie: dieting) the weight loss was from lean body mass, NOT fat loss. Guess what else? Hunger signals were higher in those who were sleep deprived than those who slept 8.5 hours per night.

Schedule in a Routine and Avoid Sleep Deprivation

Ok, I’m done “nerding out” on research. Let me get to what matters most to you right now – You and maintaining a healthy weight.

I bet you have thought about your nutrition multiple times already today. And if you haven’t gotten a workout in, I’m guessing that you have thought about it. Maybe you are one of those people who have ‘liked’ multiple fitness or nutrition pages on Facebook. How much thought do you give to your sleep? Have you already thought about when you are going to bed tonight (like you thought about what’s for lunch) or have a bed time ritual (like you do for your workout).

My next blog will address things you can do to improve the quality & quantity of your sleep. In the meantime I would like to hear from you – Do you get enough sleep?

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