The Importance of Sleep
Sleep is a very important factor, not just for weight loss but for your general health and well being. A lack of sleep can lead to a heap of problems and believe me you want to avoid them all. Studies have shown that a lack of sleep can lead to obesity. Sleep deprivation will leave you less active due to tiredness, being more inactive ultimately causes you to burn less calories than you would if you had a full nights sleep. This alone can cause you to gain weight.
The optimal range is between 7-8 hours per night, studies have also shown people who sleep more than 9 hours also tend to be over weight. So more is not always better. Too much sleep has been linked to other health issues such as diabetes, heart disease and depression. This is why getting the optimal amount is so important.
Getting the right amount of sleep also helps with correct hormone functions. Cortisone, (your stress hormone) is lowered with the right amount of sleep. Stress is something we all want to avoid not only for our waistline but for our health too. High stress levels are linked to weight gain, poor skin quality, depression and more. A lack of sleep has also been shown to increase your hunger hormone (Ghrelin) levels as much as 28%. Therefore you will feel an increase in your appetite which will make it harder for you to stay in a calorie deficit.
The longer you stay awake the more likely you will become hungry, this isn’t to say you should try sleep as early as possible because again we know this leads to no good. But getting that right amount of sleep will stop you over eating when you should be resting, helping you stay in a calorie deficit.
Getting more sleep will give you more energy for your workouts too. Ever tried training when you have zero energy? It’s tough your performance is as low as your effort which leads to you having an awful workout, this causes you to burn less calories. Your mood will also drop as your strength has reversed and you feel like your progress in the gym is slipping away.
If you struggle with getting a good nights sleep fear not here are some tips to help improve sleep quality.
1. Use black out curtains, melatonin (also known as the sleep hormone) levels raise as the sun goes down, signalling our bodies it’s time to rest. Unnatural lights can affect and confuse this hormone into thinking its still day. When its dark your body produces more melatonin.
2. Have a routine, we are habitual creatures so having a good routine will help with your sleep quality. It helps your mind start to unwind as it recognises the routine before you sleep.
3. Be more active, start exercising and exerting your energy levels more in the day. And I don’t mean start a 30 minute HIIT workout just before bed time, then try jump in bed to sleep, that won’t work. But throughout the day you need to be more active and try exercising to burn off your energy levels so when it comes to bed time your body is ready for it.
If you want the best from your body and the best results possible you need to focus on getting the right amount of sleep per night. If you struggle with sleeping try these 3 tips, if you sleep too much set 10 alarms and get your butt up for the day ahead.
Also napping is great, studies have shown that a 20-30 minute naps helps improve your cortisone levels. So if you are feeling sluggish mid day be sure to relive your child hood and grab a quick nap to help you through the rest of it.
If you have any other questions you can contact me through my facebook page The Lemon Frog Fitness Company, my Instagram @lemon_frog_fitness or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading :)