So you’re ready to work on your health

You’ve followed our emails or blog posts and understand that you need to start by addressing a lifestyle habit that you KNOW YOU WILL SUCCEED AT CHANGING

Let’s assume that habit is SLEEP

Lets go over 3 ways that sleep affects your body fat levels

And then

What you can do to improve sleep quality and quantity

1. Sleep Deprivation Influences Your Calorie Intake

People who sleep FEWER HOURS PER NIGHT simply have more total waking hours in which to eat food.

That’s it.

Research shows that sleep deprived individuals tend to eat 385 calories more per day when compared to those of us that are not sleep deprived.

To put that into perspective – it takes 3500 calories of excess consumption to gain 1lb of body fat.

At the rate described above, sleep deprived individuals could gain as much as 1lb every 10 days of sleep deprivation.

InsightSlowly over time work on making your bed time cutoff earlier. Move from midnight to 1130pm, then to 11pm, until you arrive somewhere between 930-1030pm. At the same time you can establish a HARD EATING CUTOFF at your desired future bedtime so that eventually you are both concluding eating before 1030pm but also in bed by that time.

2. Sleep Deprivation Influence Hormones

There are 2 hormones in our body that regulate appetite

1) Ghrelin – Tells us when our body is hungry

2) Leptin – Tells us when our hunger is satisfied

Research shows that when we are sleep deprived we see an increase in the hormone Ghrelin and a corresponding decrease in the hormone Leptin

So basically our body tells us we are hungrier than usual.

And then fails to signal to us that we are satisfied until much later than usual

Resulting in us over consuming.

InsightIt can be extremely helpful to track our caloric intake on days when we are sleep deprived. This will help keep us aware of our consumption so that when temptation arises we can refer to a 3rd party data source (our food log) to help keep us on track.

3. Sleep Deprivation Causes Poor Food Selection

As if things weren’t already bleak enough

Sleep Deprivation is also correlated with poor food selection – typically high carb – low protein foods

These tend to be both higher in calories but also less useful as raw resources for our bodies

Resulting in higher rates of body fat accumulation

InsightKeep problem foods out of the house. Simply don’t keep those delicious treats in the house. That way when you’re watching netflix late at night you won’t conveniently be able to reach for foods you know you shouldn’t eat.

What You Can Do About Your Sleep

1. Eliminate Blue Light at least 30 minutes before bed time.

All electronic devices have a blue light feature that can be turned on or off. Simply google “Device Name turn blue light off” and the google gods will teach you how to do it with the click of a button.

Blue light tells our brain and body that it is still day time – making it harder to relax and fall into a natural sleep rhythm.

If you cannot find your blue light feature, you can go to amazon and buy some nifty “Blue Light Blockers” – basically plain glasses that will block out the blue light spectrum.

Throw those bad boys on 30 minutes before bed time and reap the rewards.

2. Take a warm shower or bath before bed.

Small changes in body temperature can help restore our body to natural sleeping rhythms.

Raising your core temperature briefly with a warm shower and then lowering it upon stepping out of the shower can result in a “sleepy” feeling that will assist in your efforts to fall asleep.

3. Keep the bedroom cool

Keeping your room between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit helps promote sleep.

It doesn’t require a whole lot of work to accomplish either

4. Supplement

A. Melatonin

B. Gabapentin

C. L-Tryptophan

These can all be purchased over the counter in some form or another. Consult your physician, and then give approved supplements a shot to see if they can enhance sleep quality and quantity.

Most of us spend half our lives in bed. Do yourself a favor and make sure that if you’re going to spend that amount of time in bed you’re getting what you need out of it.