Losing Weight Through Better SleepBy admin | May 27th, 2011 | Category: Health/Fitness, Spring 2009 | 1 Comment »
Welcome, Agenda readers, to another exciting look into your health and fitness goals. We are venturing into an absolutely critical aspect of your health this issue, your beauty sleep. Did you know that beauty sleep really does keep you thin, radiant, productive, youthful, and cheerful? Next time someone interrupts your beauty sleep, make sure to make it crystal clear that next time they wake you they will not be around for a second chance. Successful weight loss consists of exercise, nutrition, and self-maintenance. Along with hard hours exercising and proper nutrition, you need to heal and rest your body so that it can make the changes you are asking it to make. Sleep deprivation has been proven to significantly accelerate the aging process, increase fat storage, along with a plethora of other adverse effects. For this article we will focus on weight gain and how to reverse this tragedy. Visit my “Health 101″ article for the full story on sleep deprivation and its other vast negative effects on our bodies. Simply to name a few, sleep deprivation results in
o Mood swings
o Accelerated inner and outer aging
o Hindered work performance
o Impaired memory
o Magnified alcohol effects on the body
o Inaccurate hunger signals
o Interference with the body’s ability to metabolize carbohydrates
o Increased craving of carbohydrates and sugar
o Body’s reduced ability to balance fat and muscle
o Possible increased blood pressure
o Increased fat storage
o More in “Health 101″ article . . .
Help me! What is going on inside me?
Deep sleep is repair time. Your body needs to catch up from the day’s toils. Should you deprive it, it has no choice but to defend itself, resulting in a destructive attack on your health and beauty. This is not personal, ladies; it is survival. Yes, I know that in today’s fast paced busy world sleep can be a very inefficient part of your schedule, but consider the price you are paying. “Sleeping is so overrated” seems to be the LA mantra. Sleep deprivation interferes with the body’s ability to metabolize carbohydrates and causes high blood levels of glucose (sugar), which leads to higher insulin levels and greater body fat storage. The hormonal imbalance between leptin and ghrelin is actually the largest internal battle, transforming you into a carbohydrate/sugar craving, fat storing machine. You also begin to produce reduced amounts of growth hormone, which is what helps regulate the body’s proportions of fat to muscle. This is reducing the muscle that helps you burn that evil fat in the first place.
What is all this hormone imbalance talk about?
Leptin and ghrelin are our focus. They work in a kind of “yin and yang” system to balance the feelings of hunger and fullness. Ghrelin is produced in the gastrointestinal tract and stimulates appetite, while its counterpart leptin is produced in fat cells and sends the signal to our brain that we are full and have no need to store fat. Leptin and this full feeling are triggered exclusively by good fats (Omega-3s, fish, nuts, oils, etc) and fiber. This all ties together as we introduce low amounts of sleep. Sleep deprivation drives leptin levels down, resulting in its taking longer to feel satisfied while eating, driving you to overeat. Lack of sleep also causes ghrelin levels to rise as a self defense mechanism, increasing your appetite for high-fat foods to hit that satiety sweet spot. I am sure I do not need to clarify how stressful it can be not to be able to get much needed sleep. Stress itself increases your cortisol levels, a stress hormone that also puts our bodies in self defense mode by turning the fat storage dial up a few notches in bad times. I hope by now I have convinced you that sleep is not a luxury, it’s a necessity, ladies and gentlemen.
You win, I am listening. How do I fix this?
Sleep! More specifically you need deep recuperative sleep, also known as Delta sleep or NREM sleep. This is the stage in sleep where you dream. This is also the time all repairs take place. Deep sleep is your goal to reverse this process. “Infants can spend up to 50% of their sleep in the REM stage of sleep, whereas adults spend only about 20% in REM,” states the National Sleep Foundation. Please take the time at night to make an event of sleep. Turn off all ambient light and rude distractions in the room (including those you share your bed with) so that your body can reach this delta stage of sleep. If you need white noise (TV or sound) in the room to fall asleep, you will be fine as long as you set a timer for your appliances. You will need to consistently achieve a full night’s sleep for at least one solid week for your body to begin to regulate itself once more. When your body receives consistent rest, it will do the work for you. Combine good rest, proper nutrition, and some regular fun exercise, and I guarantee you a summer body to die for. Look forward to a future article on tips and tricks to getting in a full night’s sleep without sleeping the whole night.
So how much sleep do I need?
According to the National Institute of Health, infants usually require about 16-18 hours of sleep per day, while teenagers need about 9 hours per day on average. Most adults need about 7-8 hours of sleep per day. According to Dr Colette Bouchez of WebMD, “A presentation at the 2006 American Thoracic Society International Conference showed that women who slept 5 hours per night were 32% more likely to experience major weight gain (an increase of 33 pounds or more) and 15% more likely to become obese over the course of the 16-year study, compared to those who slept 7 hours a night.” Reaching your 6-8 hours of sleep a night I know is easier said than done, but as you can see, it is critical to your health, beauty, and in this case, your waistline.
If you enjoyed the information here, make sure to take the in-depth tour in “Health 101″ for more reasons to treat yourself to a good night’s sleep.
Sweet dreams, Agenda readers. (Sources)
Written by Anthony Heredia