Hello welcome to your tip of the week on how to make peace with food.
This week’s tip is super simple – so simple you can do it lying on your back. haha
This week we’re talking about sleep deprivation and more importantly the negative impact it has on our weight.
We’ve all been there right?
You’re sitting at your desk mid-afternoon, and you start to feel drowsy. You reach for a cup of coffee and a biscuit for that quick shot of energy. After work, you collect takeaways on your way home and skip your walk. Later, when it’s time for bed, you’re too wound up to sleep.
Not getting enough sleep is super common these days —it’s talked about like a ‘badge of pride’ round the water cooler. Who hasn’t bragged about pulling that all-nighter?
Or sometimes it’s a carryover from breast feeding days and you’ve got into the habit of coping with less sleep.
Here’s the thing – we’re paying a high price by staying up late and getting up early.
How does lack of sleep impact our weight?
Sleep deprivation affects our ability to lose weight because of the two hormones: ghrelin and leptin.
Ghrelin is the hormone that lets you know ‘I’m hungry’, But when you’re sleep-deprived, you have more ghrelin in your body. Hence the need to overeat when you’re tired
Leptin is the second hormone. It’s the tells you when to stop eating—it’s the “I’m satisfied now” signal—and when we’re sleep deprived – you guessed it – we have less leptin.
So in a nutshell, the hormonal imbalance caused by sleep deprivation causes us to eat more, and sadly, typically we reach for the less nourishing food choices… as in the high-calorie, high sugar and salty snacks.
So what can you do?
Sleep needs vary from person to person, but in general, most adults thrive on 7 to 9 hours a night. Some people can do with less, and others require more.
So experiment with yourself and find out how many hours you need per night to feel fully rested and thriving. NOT how many hours you need in order to survive.
For example, just because you can drag yourself through your day on 6 hours of sleep doesn’t mean that is healthy for you.
Here’s how to get more sleep
1. For starters, it’s helpful to avoid caffeine after midday. Caffeine keeps you in the lighter stages of sleep during the night.
2. Move your body – moving your body helps improve sleep quality. So go for your daily stroll, so you can improve your nightly sleep.
3. Also, it’s helpful to avoid eating close to bedtime. Heavy or rich meals before bed increases the risk of heartburn. Who wants to be tossing and turning all night?
Finally, it’s useful to begin a night time routine—and stick to it. Switch off your smartphone, turn off the telly, and allow your body to start to relax at least 30 minutes before you actually want to drop off to sleep.
I hope you found that helpful.
For more weekly tips and ways to make peace with food sign up below and you can always reach out on social media, and I’ll see you next week.
Sleep well and have a super day!