Are Bad Sleeping Habits Affecting Your Weight?
Even after weight loss surgery shedding those extra pounds can be extremely challenging, especially if you maintain bad sleeping habits. In fact, sleep deprivation is a major contributing factor to weight gain. There is no doubt that a lack of sleep can have a negative impact on all hormone levels including those that regulate our appetite and metabolism.
Our bodies produce two important hormones that can be affected by a consistently poor sleeping pattern. Ghrelin (the hunger hormone), stimulates appetite, and Leptin causes us to feel full. If you are chronically sleep deprived, ghrelin can be produced in excess causing frequent hunger and overeating, while Leptin levels may be decreased.
Signs You Are Not Getting Enough Sleep
If you suddenly have an increased craving for sugary foods it’s a sure sign your energy levels are too low. When the body does not get enough rest, it tries to compensate for the quickest way to an energy source.
Struggling to move around and fighting to get through the day means avoiding strenuous activities and burning fewer calories.
A growing number of studies have shown that there is a link between long-term sleep deprivation and a reduction in insulin sensitivity. If the body becomes insensitive to insulin, less glucose will get stored within the cells, and the ability to burn carbohydrates for energy will be affected. Excess carbs will get stored as fat.
Tips to help you sleep
- Develop a bedtime routine
To reach the recommended 8 to 9 hours of sleep, set a standard bedtime. It is best to practice going to bed at the same time each night and getting up at the same time every morning. If you can’t sleep, get up and do something like reading a book. Try to clear your mind of preoccupied anxieties by writing them down and leaving them for the next day.
- Create a peaceful environment
Relax. Take a warm bath before going to bed. Set the mood for a good night’s sleep by ensuring your bed is comfortable and the room temperature is ‘just right. A dark and quiet bedroom is ideal. Which means banning electronics from the bedroom and practice recording your favorite television programs for another day.
- Avoid substances that interfere with your sleep
Stimulants such as caffeine should be avoided when it’s close to your bedtime since they tend to work against falling asleep. Likewise, if you are already sleep deprived, counting on caffeine to keep you awake won’t work either. This a bad sleeping habit you will want to quit right away.
It may seem like alcohol helps with falling asleep but it may actually be disrupting your sleep and should be avoided when its closer to bedtime. Alcohol can also cause breathing to be reduced to very low levels or even stop for short periods during sleep, therefore triggering sleep apnea.
- Use sleep aids as needed
There is so much you can do to get that good night’s sleep you deserve. Using sleep aids such as Melatonin can make a difference in the amount of sleep you get each night. It regulates sleep patterns and helps with sleep problems associated with jet lag or working on shifts. Melatonin can also promote a more restful sleep by shortening the time it takes for you to get to sleep.
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