Sleep is great, that’s a given, but are you across the impact that it can have on your nutrition and weight?
If you are trying to improve your health and perhaps lose some weight and NOT looking at your sleep patterns, you could be missing out on some easy runs on the board, Oxygen Crew.
When we sleep, a series of complex processes occur that allow our brain to rejuvenate, connect the dots from the day, and form memories. When we have poor sleep, not only are these specific functions impaired, but research now shows that our appetite and food preferences can be impacted as well.
With as little as one or two nights of poor sleep, we can experience (temporary)
hormonal changes that increase the drive to eat. Namely, we see an increase in the ‘hunger’ hormone ghrelin and a decrease in our ‘satiety’ hormone leptin, which in turn can translate into a greater desire to eat and feeling less satisfied by what you do have. This is an uphill battle and every one of the Oxygen Crew have been there.
Further, the foods we tend to crave when we have had a poor nights sleep are the high energy density, low nutrient quality ‘junk’ foods. So, if sleep is so important for maintaining a healthy weight and diet what is it that leads to a poor nights sleep?
From work to family and social occasions our busy world alone can make it difficult for us to fall asleep at night as thoughts of the day race through our head.
One quite common modern convenience that can lead to poor sleep are the devices that we use every day to stay connected.
The blue light emitted from the screens of phones tablets and laptops interrupts the development of our sleep hormone melatonin. This blue light exposure is especially detrimental when we are exposed to it at night-time.
As the daylight decreases outside, the body starts to produce more melatonin, however, with the blue light emitted from the devices we very commonly use throughout the evening, this production is impaired and thus sleep onset is pushed back.
Another factor which very commonly impairs sleep is the consumption of caffeine late in the day. Caffeine is a substance that inhibits another hormone associated with drowsiness adenosine.
While some people can be perfectly fine consuming caffeine late into the evening, for many consuming caffeine within 6 to 8 hours of sleep can drastically impair their ability to get to sleep.
Finally, our night time eating habits can also impact the quality of sleep we have. Both under eating at night and overeating at night can disrupt our sleep for different reasons.
When we overeat at night time our body is busy digesting the food that we have consumed which for some people can disrupt sleep, and in the opposite direction, under eating can be a stressor which may delay the onset of sleep also.
If you are now convinced that sleep is the missing piece of your puzzle, then here are 5 simple ways to optimise your sleep:
- Cut off caffeine at least 6 hours before you intend to go to bed.
- Set your room temperature to a cool 18 degrees. Research indicates that cooler temperatures can help signal that its time to sleep for your body.
- Set yourself a nighttime routine that doesn’t involve screens an hour before bed.
- Try a relaxation app to help clear your mind before bed.
- Have a balanced meal before bed and have it earlier to allow for a few hours of digestion to occur.
As is usually the case, the most effective approaches for improving your health are the ones right under your nose.
Planning to get more sleep is not only free, but it could quite possibly be one of the most effective fat loss strategies available, helping to better manage appetite and making it easier to get through the day at full steam.
Consider this your permission slip to hop back into bed and hit snooze.
Interested to learn more about our best-selling sleep aids? Click on the images below to get more information.