😴🛌How did you sleep last night? 🥰
A lot of people ask me how to boost their metabolism, so we are going to start taking a deep dive into everything METABOLISM, over the next several blog posts! 😊
OK. Are you ready?
Pay close attention, 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!
It’s tempting to think of your metabolism as a “thing” – kind of like your body’s speedometer that controls the rate your body burns energy.
Your metabolism actually is a complex PROCESS where your body turns the food you eat into energy. Since you have dozens of trillions of cells, you can just imagine how complicated this whole process actually is!
There is a long list of things that can affect your metabolism, including many things you can’t control – like your age, genetics and whether you are male or female, and more.
The good news is there are a LOT of things you CAN do to rev up (or slow down) your metabolism, based on your lifestyle choices.
And you guessed it, SLEEP falls into that category!
Is sleep an issue for you?
Have you ever had a bad night of sleep and felt hungry the entire next day?
The reason for this is because your body’s hormonal system takes a hit when it doesn’t get enough rest. Scientists believe this is linked to a disruption in two hormones, called ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin signals to make you feel hungry, and leptin signals when you feel full. I like to think of it as my body’s shut-off valve.
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body can release MORE of the HUNGER hormone and LESS of the FEELING-FULL hormone, so now you can see how you can end up eating more but still never feel fully satisfied! PLUS, adding to that is the fact you might have LESS WILLPOWER!
Not getting enough rest can also activate a part of your brain that is especially sensitive to seeing or smelling food, which can make you want to eat it even more! All of that just lays the groundwork for taking in more calories than your body needs.
This leads me to the second part of how not getting enough sleep affects your metabolism and that has to do with the BURNING OFF of that FUEL.
Have you ever had a few bad nights of sleep in a row and noticed that the scale goes up?
It’s a real “thing.” Researchers found that when adults were limited to five hours of sleep a night over five nights, they actually gained weight! They put on an average of 1.8 pounds. Another study found that getting only five hours of sleep at night cuts the rate of fat loss by more than 50%! The worst thing for sleep is stressing about not sleeping. However, there are some things you can experiment with to help you get a better night of Zzz’s!
Are you ready?
Here are some things you can do during the day to set yourself up for a good night of sleep!
Get some sunshine in the morning to reinforce your natural circadian rhythm.
Sneak in some exercise during the day! Among many other things, this can help with your body’s stress hormones and make you more physically tired, so your body wants to sleep at night!
Try to avoid naps, as they can get in the way of your sleep routine. A short cat nap after lunch is fine, if you’re lucky enough to be able to take one!
Some people find that having coffee or other caffeinated beverages after 2 p.m. can impact their sleep.
Here are some things to think about closer to bedtime:
First, avoid heavy meals for a few hours 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.
Stay away from any devices that emit blue light, such as your phone and TV.
Plus, you definitely want to make sure your bedroom is sleep-friendly. It should be dark,
not too hot, and quiet. You might also want to try adding some white noise – there are lots of great white noise apps you can try fro free!
This last one might be a toughie, 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.
This is an experiment to find out what helps you sleep better!
If none of those things seem to work for you, it’s worth bringing up to your doctor at your next visit because your sleep affects so much beyond your metabolism!