Hello sleepy head
In your opinion, what’s the best way to lose weight?
Healthy eating? Weights? Cardio?
If your answer includes any of the above, you’re spot on. But there’s one more …
Imagine that, you don’t have to lift a finger to burn fat. Pretty cool huh?
I bet your confused and a little sceptical. So let me explaineth how it works, and how you really can lose weight while you Zzzzzz.
In part 1 of this 2 part blog series, I will walk you through why sleep is so integral to our health. In part 2 we get to the juicy stuff – how you can improve your sleep and so maximise it for weight loss. I truly hope this blog inspires and empowers you to make sleep a priority.
So let’s jump straight in …
Sleep impacts every part of our life, but sadly gets so overlooked and brushed to the side. In today’s fast paced world, achieving a blissful night’s kip is hard to achieve.
But with a few simple tweaks you can take your snooze time to a whole new level and feel fabulous. On top of this quality sleep can increase your metabolic rate and fat oxidation. And the best bit is you don’t have to move a single muscle!
What happens whilst we sleep?
Many major restorative functions like tissue and cell repair, muscle growth, protein synthesis, and hormone production take place while we sleep.
But one of the most important restorative functions of sleep is to do with a neurotransmitter called adenosine. During the day our neurons fire and give us energy, this process produces adenosine which builds up during the day. This leads to a decrease in dopamine which is a neurotransmitter that keeps us alert and focused. So as adenosine goes up, dopamine comes down, resulting in that drowsy feeling you get at night. Then while we sleep, we gradually clear the adenosine from our bodies to start afresh in the morning feeling perky and awake. To summarise, the more sleep you get, the lower the level of adenosine, and the more alert you’ll feel the next day.
How much sleep do you need and when?
There are some factors that determine the amount of sleep you need such as lifestyle, gender, age and your health. It differs for everyone but as a general guideline, we need somewhere between 7-9 hours sleep per night. You have to gauge how you feel after a night’s sleep to determine your specific number of hours.
As for the best window for restorative sleep, it tends to be between the hrs of 11 pm and 7 am when the circadian rhythm is at it’s lowest point. Tune into your own personal circadian rhythm and go to bed when you feel sleepy. That way you’ll hit deep sleep.
What happens if you don’t get enough sleep?
If you’re not getting enough sleep it will effect many areas of your life. In relation to your health, a sleep deficit can increase your appetite. If you think about it, because you’ve less sleep you’ll have less energy to do things. So your body deals with this by stimulating your appetite, to get you to eat more to provide calories to fuel your daily activities. All this can result in weight gain which can, of course, lead to other health related complications.
In part 2, as I said, I’m going to go into the nuts and bolts of how you can improve your sleep and maximise it for weight loss.
Here’s to counting less sheep!
Love Gaynor x