Healthy Lifestyle: Sleep and Weight Loss

As a person that just seems to need at least 8 hours of sleep a day I find it surprising that so many people do their best to get by on less. There are many reasons for this including technology, a feeling that there is not enough time in the day (so you catch up in the evening), difficulty sleeping, overeating, to much alcohol to name a a few. While it may seem like 8 hours is a lot of time to be laying in bed research is now showing that not enough sleep will affect weight loss and your productivity/performance.

  • A lack of sleep leads to a slew of negatives, including weight gain, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, depression, lower immune-system response, premature aging and impaired thinking. Lack of sleep is also a primary cause of car accidents, with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine reporting an estimated 250,000 sleep-related traffic accidents each year.
  •  The hormones leptin and ghrelin are influenced by how much we sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep, it drives leptin levels down, which means you don’t feel as satisfied after you eat. Your ghrelin levels rise and your appetite is stimulated so you want more food. The two combined make you overeat, according to the Mayo Clinic. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that those who got less than the optimal amount of sleep showed an increase intake of about 300 hundred calories per day.
Here are a few other facts to consider:
  • Sleep gives your body time to recover, relax and refresh.
  • Sleep can impact your metabolism
  • Sleep is key for stellar athletic performance
  • Sleep affects our brain function-lack of creates less clarity or unclear thinking
Ideas that help promote good sleep include a winding down routine, breathing exercises, a short meditation before bed, no technology in the bedroom or around your bedtime winding down, a dark environment and avoid caffeine 3 hours or more before bed.  Keeping a journal by your bedside and writing down all the lists running through your head is another good tool.These are just a few ideas that might help your body relax and welcome a solid 8 hours.
My fitness coaching also addresses wellness practices that promote a deeper and more relaxed sleep pattern. Creating the habit is also crucial. As with anything we can feed good habits or habits that are not as supportive of our health and wellness.
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In support,
life coachLaurie Bagley MS in Outdoor Adventure Leadership, is a mother,  ACE certified health coach, entrepreneurial business owner, VeraHeart coach and teacher. Her Health and Wellness products business and her Health Fitness Coaching Business, focus on assisting people reach their health/wellness/fitness and financial goals. She is also the 6th woman to summit Mt. Everest from the North Col route and has written a book called SUMMIT.