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Sleep More, Weigh Less

 


Posted by Sherri Sacconaghi, April 15, 2011

 


Ever have a bad night of sleep only to find yourself munching through the day, finding it difficult to feel full? When you are sleep deprived you feel low energy. As a result, you may be tempted to reach for the high sugar foods like cookies, chips and latte’s to give you the jolt of energy you crave. But it takes more than will power to work through this. You can thank your hormones for that.

Your body has two hormones that are effected by sleep, Ghrelin and Leptin (trust me, this is as scientific as I get). Ghrelin is a hormone that signals us it is time to eat. When we lack sleep, Ghrelin kicks it up a notch and we keep eating. Leptin is the hormone that signals us it is time to stop eating (yes, you all have it even if you feel you don’t) and when we are sleep deprived, you guessed it, leptin decreases. You can see how a few nights of bad sleep can really start to affect your weight. Lack of sleep can also increase the occurrence of: Stress, headaches, stomach distress and constipation.

Our bodies need an average of 7.5 hours a sleep a night. No easy task. I myself am not a great sleeper and there are many drugs and supplements that market to the sleep deprived. Before you try those, here are seven ways you can fit more ZZZZZ’s into your night. I’ve tried them. They help.

  • Avoid Caffeine. If you must have it, do not drink any in the afternoon.

  • Exercise. Do it during the day if possible as exercising within 2 hours of bed may disrupt your sleep. But moving more in general is the key.

  • No heavy meals before bed. Shut that kitchen down by 8:00. If you need a little snack, try a high protein snack like a Tablespoon of peanut butter 3 hours before bed.

  • A hot water bottle on your belly. This is my favorite. Not a heating pad, but an old fashioned hot water bottle.

  • Hide all Clocks. If you can’t see the time, you will not obsess about how much sleep you are not getting.

  • Journaling. Try writing down three things you are grateful for every night before bed. A positive mood can help aid in falling asleep.

  • Clean out under your bed. Yes, it is a little feng shui but it helped me.

So think of sleep as another important component to living a healthy life. Turn off Letterman a little early and hit the hay. Your waist line will thank you too.

 

 

Article by: Sherri Sacconaghi
Certified Health Coach and Personal Fitness Trainer
www.themissionofnutrition.com
Ph: 503 621 7549
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it t

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