Did you know that losing weight could be easier to achieve if you were to just get a good nights sleep?
Well, it is true, with research showing a link between a lack of sleep and weight gain, but how?
How does a lack of sleep cause weight gain?
When you do not get enough sleep your body will start to produce more ghrelin, which is a hormone that stimulates your appetite.
Obviously the higher your ghrelin levels the bigger your appetite will be.
A lack of sleep will also result in your body going into a sort of ‘survival mode’ so will start to run on adrenaline, so instead of breaking down any food consumed for energy it will instead start to conserve it, which means that it will be stored as fat.
Your energy levels will also be lower than normal if you have failed to get a minimum of 7 hours sleep. This can make you reliant on caffeine and other foods that may contain added sugars that will certainly not help with your weight.
So what can we do about it?
At the moment around 75% of the people in the UK are not getting enough sleep, so no wonder the obesity levels are on the rise, but fear not. If you are able to make a few simple lifestyle changes then you will be able to get a better nights sleep and be able to avoid the subsequent weight gain.
Here are a few tips to help you get a good nights sleep:
#1: Use your bedroom for sleep, not work
If you bring your laptop or phone into your bedroom at night then these could be distracting you from a good nights sleep.
Not only will you be going to bed stressed, but the beeping or lights flashing could be serious distractions.
At bedtime your bedroom should be a technology free zone.
#2: Get regular exercise
When you exercise you will be able to reduce stress hormones that affect your sleep. Therefore helping you to nod off and stay asleep.
#3: Stop stressing about sleep
If you are worried about not getting enough sleep then this could also affect the amount of sleep you get.
Laying there wide awake stressing about how little time you have left in bed is not going to be good for your efforts, so if possible try and clear your mind.
If clearing your mind does not work, then think about any positive things that have happened to you over the past day. You will soon find yourself nodding off.
#4: Eat certain foods
To help you get a good nights sleep you need to have a good balance of both serotonin and melatonin in your body.
To ensure these hormones are at an optimal level I would suggest you try and eat some of the following:
Try to avoid caffeine based drinks before bed as these will obviously affect your sleep patterns.
Hopefully these few simple tips will help you to get a good nights sleep, and ensure weight gain does not become an issue for you.