Getting a good night’s sleep can be so difficult for a lot of people; whether it be because you work late and get up early due to work or children, and/or the sleep you are getting might not be good quality, restorative sleep.
If you’re not getting 7-9 hours of good quality sleep each night, this will hamper your weight loss goals significantly. Here are the three main reasons why:
Hunger If you have a poor night’s sleep, your body will have decreased levels of the hunger-suppressing hormone called ‘leptin’. This is your fuel gauge that tells your body when you’re full up. So, if your leptin levels are low, once you’ve eaten a meal you’re not left feeling satisfied. This, of course, can be a big problem when you’re trying to manage portion sizes and trying to lose weight.
Another issue stemming from poor sleep is that your body will have increased levels of another hunger hormone called ‘ghrelin’. When your stomach is empty it produces ghrelin, this causes cravings and hunger. If these levels have risen due to poor sleep then you’re going to experience more cravings throughout the day, which will massively hamper your progress as you are more likely to make poorer choices when picking food.
Growth Hormone If you have a great night’s sleep then your body will release a lot more HGH (Human Growth Hormone) - this is a good thing! This is where you start to burn fat and build lean muscle whilst you’re sleeping, and remember that more muscle means that your metabolism raises, which in turn will help you to burn sugar and fat more easily. Up to 70% of our daily secretion of growth hormone occurs during the first 3 hours of sleep, so it’s crucial for your recovery and progress that you get a good night’s sleep.
As you can see, sleep is a big area to focus on. Here are three quick pointers which can help set you up to get a great sleep:
Minimise noise and bright light on the lead up to bedtime.
Switch off electrical devices such as mobiles, laptops and TVs 1 hour before bed.
Avoid caffeine after 4pm and drink herbal tea like camomile instead.