How did you sleep last night?
It's a question that a lot of people ask and have been asked. But are you aware of the effects sleep (or lack thereof) can have on your metabolism? Probably not. That's why, this month, we are going to dive deep into the subject of sleep. Particularly, how SLEEP affects your metabolism, health, and fitness results.
OK. Are you ready?
Read carefully, because you're going to have your mind blown when I share a few stats about how much sleep can impact your metabolism.
First - let's lay the groundwork with a very simplified explanation of what your metabolism actually is!
You might have thought of your metabolism as a "thing" – kind of like an internal speedometer controlling the rate your body burns energy.
But your metabolism is more than that. It actually is a complex PROCESS where your body turns the food you eat into energy and the various hormones that trigger a cascade of internal affairs. And since your body contains dozens of trillions of cells, you can just imagine how intricately complicated this whole process is!
The list of things that can affect your metabolism is long, and some of those things you have no control over – like your age, genetics, and whether you are male or female.
However, there are still a LOT of things you CAN do to rev up (or slow down) your metabolism, based on your lifestyle choices.
And considering the title of this post, SLEEP is one of them!
But first, I must ask, is sleep an issue for you? If it is, I created the "Supercharge Your Sleep" guide to help people just like you get more quality sleep and feel ready to take on the day!
You can download this guide for FREE as my gift to you. Be sure to get your copy by clicking here!
Now, moving on – Have you ever had a bad night of sleep and felt hungry the entire next day?
This is because your body's hormonal system takes a huge hit when it doesn't get enough rest.
Scientists believe this is linked to a disruption in two hormones, called Ghrelin and Leptin. Ghrelin is the hormone that triggers your hunger sensation, and Leptin does the opposite. It signals when you feel full and should end your feeding session.
When you don't get enough sleep, your body can release MORE Ghrelin (the HUNGER hormone) and LESS Leptin (the FEELING-FULL hormone) … This is how you can find yourself eating more food than usual, but still never feel fully satisfied!
PLUS … Not getting enough rest can activate a part of your brain that is especially sensitive to seeing or smelling food, making you want to eat it even more! Thus leaving you vulnerable to having LESS WILLPOWER to fight cravings or food temptations!
All of which lays the groundwork for taking in more calories than your body needs.
Now another way that not getting enough sleep can negatively affect your metabolism has to do with the challenge of BURNING OFF that EXTRA FUEL.
If you've ever experienced a few bad nights of sleep in a row and noticed the numbers on your scale going up, you are not alone.
It's a real "thing"… researchers found that when adults were limited to less than 5 hours of sleep a night over 5 nights, they gained weight! They put on an average of 1.8 pounds (.8 kilograms).
Another study found that getting just 5 hours of sleep at night cut their subject's fat loss rates by more than 50%!
And the worst thing for sleep is stressing about not sleeping. But there are some things you can experiment with during the day to help set you up to get a better night of Zzz's!
Give these a try:
Get some sunshine in the morning to reinforce your natural circadian rhythm.
Also, sneak in some exercise during the day! Among many other things, this can help your body deal with stress hormones AND make you more physically tired, so your body wants to sleep at night!
If naps get in the way of your sleep routine, avoid them, especially late in the day. A short cat nap after lunch might work for those lucky enough to be able to take one!
Some people find that having coffee or other stimulating beverages after 2 p.m. can impact their sleep. Best to avoid or eliminate those, too.
While those are all actions you can take during the day to help improve your sleep that night, I've also got a few things to consider as your bedtime approaches ...
First, avoid having a heavy meal just before bed … and stay away from alcohol since that can contribute to restless sleep.
Another helpful thing to do is dim the lights in your home an hour or two before bedtime, to signal your body; it's time to go to bed.
Also, stay away from any devices that emit blue light … like your phone, tablet, and TV.
Plus, be sure to make sure your bedroom as sleep-friendly as possible. It should be dark, cold, and quiet. You might also want to experiment with adding white noise – there are lots of great apps you can try!
Admittedly, this last one might be a toughie; avoid sleeping with your pets. But, if you're used to sleeping with your dog or cat on the bed, try changing that up for a few nights and see if that helps. A good night's sleep might be worth it.
Not all of these tips will work for everyone. In fact, this should be looked upon as an experiment to determine what helps you sleep better. So, you should be prepared to lay all your cards on the table.
And if none of these recommendations work for you, it might be time to bring the subject up to your doctor at your next visit … It's a crucial subject to discuss because your sleep affects WAY MORE than just your metabolism!
Don't forget to download your guide to "Supercharge Your Sleep" by clicking here!