Whether it’s been a heavy Christmas, or you have a holiday coming up at some point you will probably make changes in your lifestyle to try and lose some weight. It is a common belief that to lose the weight there are 2 lifestyle changes you need to make; exercise more and eat better. However, there is a forgotten factor that can have a serious impact on your success.
We all know the most common effects that a poor night’s sleep can have on us, poor mood, and lack of motivation etc. But did you know that not getting a good solid 8 hours every night can seriously impact your weight loss efforts no matter how hard you try when you are awake.
Numerous studies over the years have concluded that there is a strong correlation between the length and quality of a persons sleep and their weight. It means no matter how good your diet and exercise regime are you can still struggle to shift the pounds.
How a Lack of Sleep Affects your Diet
We get our energy from our food and sleep, if we either under eat or under sleep our energy levels are seriously affected, so it doesn’t take a genius to work out that there may be a link between the two. When you’re are deprived of enough sleep your body will seek to get its energy from other sources, it has been found when you are tired the area of your brain that is associated with food acquisition becomes much more active, this will lead to food cravings and possible overeating, in particular carbs. A study of 1,000 people by Forza supplements found that 82% of people found it easier to stick to a healthy eating regime when they had a good night’s sleep. With only 17% of those people feeling the need to snack between meals. Researchers at King’s College London found that sleep deprived people ate an additional 385 calories every day which could equal 3 stone in one year.
As well as making you crave more food, a lack of sleep also increases your cortisol levels which will also hinder your progress. Too much cortisol has often been linked to severe weight increase as it supresses a fat burning gene that leads to increased insulin resistance, stubborn belly fat and a higher chance of obesity.
How a Lack of Sleep Affects your Exercise
As well as a good diet, when you start on a weight loss journey most people aim to exercise more regularly. In order to burn the most calories possible, you need to be able to perform at your best, if you arrive at the gym feeling sleepy then you just aren’t going to perform like you should, in turn slowing your weight loss down.
After exercising your muscles need time to recover to get back to peak condition, most of this recovery happens when you sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep your muscles are more likely to become sore and stiff which again will have a knock-on effect on how much you can do when you next work out.
In order to make your diet and exercise changes as effective as possible they need to be sustainable. If you are making plenty of effort to try and be as active and healthy as possible then don’t let a lack of sleep be the thing to stop you reaching your goals!
How to improve your sleep for better weight loss results
Saying you are going to get more sleep isn't as easy as it sounds, modern day life is hectic and non-stop leading to later nights and earlier mornings. However, there are ways of making getting to sleep naturally easier, improving the quality of your sleep and making it easier to get out of bed feeling energised.
Wake up lights bring dawn into your room
Stick to a routine so that your sleep cycles stay regular. This means going to bed and getting up at the same time every day (even on weekends!). Make sure that the time you choose to go to bed is late enough that you’ll feel properly tired and avoid trying to force yourself to drift off. A lot of people find using wake up lights
useful for this as they wake you up gently and naturally no matter what time it is. You can simulate dawn at any time with the Lumie Bodyclock Starter 30
Cut out blue light from electronics
Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol late at night, as these will keep you up. The screens of smartphones, computers and tvs have a similar effect as the light they emit stimulates your brain. A good idea is to stay away from electronic devices for an hour or so before bed. The perfect chance to catch up on those books you’ve been meaning to read! If you need to be in front of a screen, try a set of Computer Glasses & Reading Glasses
. Computer glasses are specially designed to filter out blue light.
Check your sleeping environment
Make sure your sleeping environment is cosy and inviting and don’t spend time in the bedroom for activities that aren’t sleep-related. A warm bath or some light yoga exercises can help your body to prepare itself for sleep. To stop a restless mind, try creating a to-do list before bed so that you’re not suddenly struck by little things you’ve forgotten about.
And don't forget about bedding! Being too hot, too cold or just plain uncomfortable in bed will stop you sleeping. One of our favourites is the Boo Living range - the Boo Living Bamboo Pocket Pillow
and Boo Living Bamboo Pocket Duvet
are amazing at regulating temperature due to the moisture-wicking properties of bamboo fibre. They're also a natural dust mite repellent!