I have been dealing with a lot of fatigue lately, and I am not sure why. I have been eating pretty well, and staying active, drinking lots and lots of water, so I hope my energy picks up pretty soon.
Bed time has a tendency to come pretty late and 5:55 in the morning comes around quickly.
I need to make an effort to get into bed at a better time each night, because getting adequate sleep can play a big part in my weight loss efforts.
Studies have shown a link between sleep and BMI. People who sleep for fewer hours each night tend to have a higher BMI than people who sleep longer. Other studies have linked sleep to some of the hormones that help control body weight and appetite.
People who sleep less tend to have lower levels of leptin. This is a hormone that helps suppress your appetite and increase your metabolism. At the same time sleep loss tends to increase your level of ghrelin. This hormone stimulates appetite. As a result people who sleep less may eat more. They also may eat more foods that are unhealthy. Study subjects have been show to crave sweets, starch and salty snacks when their sleep is restricted.
Hormone function affects the way fat cells respond to the food we eat. Cortisol is a hormone that is commonly released in response to physical or emotional stress. When we are deprived of sleep, cortisol is released at an increased level and makes us feel hungry even if we are full. As a result, people who continue to lose sleep on a regular basis will tend to experience hunger even when they have had an adequate amount of food.
A lack of sleep also goes hand in hand with a lack of energy – not a new concept, but perhaps I’ve grown used to my daily levels of energy and didn’t notice that I could gain more until my new level of higher activity required more.
Not only do we accomplish less with less sleep, we also don’t burn as many calories. The body’s reaction is to hoard calories as fat, making our weight loss goals more difficult than they need to be. So what can you or I do about it?
* Establish a regular exercise routine of 3-4 times per week, and do it well before bedtime.
*Try pre-bedtime rituals that relax you – warm baths, light reading, listening to calming music or recorded nature sounds.
*Create a peaceful sleep environment. Adjust the darkness to what works best for you. Make sure the temperature of the room is set to your comfort level.
*Give yourself sleep hours instead of trying to squeeze more activity into one day. Adequate sleeping hours will increase your productivity during waking hours.
* Don’t go to bed hungry, but don’t eat a big meal right before bedtime. Eating high protein food close to bedtime makes your body think it should be active and therefore keeps you awake.
* Don’t nap in the daytime if you have sleeping problems at night.
* Don’t take in caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol from the late afternoon and beyond.
* Don’t lie in bed agitated if you can’t sleep. After a half hour, move to a different room and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy again.
I am going to make a concerted effort to get to bed earlier and get better sleep. Hopefully this will boost my energy and help my motivation to keep moving!