Get more ZZZZZZ's

Thursday, November 20, 2014

It's official I need more sleep! Last week I noticed that I made some pretty bad decisions when I did not get enough sleep. I knew I was overtired, but I was not breaking that cycle and my lack of energy and my bad food choices was so apparent that it really made me think that my sleep schedule has a big part in my lack of weight loss.

This week was not the first time, I have noticed it, but I think because I noticed it again, it really started to get me thinking. So I did a little research on this to prove this point to myself and hopefully give myself even more incentive to get some more ZZZZZ's :) Here is what I found....

  1. Externally, there are all the things I am noticing...
  • Too tired to workout.
  • You want fast, quick and easy food choices.
  • You crave comfort foods.
  • You eat more than someone who goes to bed earlier for the simple fact that you are awake to eat, while others are snoozing.
      2.  Internally there is also a whole lot going on....
  • Being overtired is a bit like being drunk, not just because you start to act a little silly, but because your brain acts in a similar way. I don't know about you, but I love to eat when I am drunk and I don't mean apples! I love to eat chicken tenders, pizza and Chinese food. Am I alone here? I don't think so.
  • Not getting enough sleep messes with your hormones. I had never heard of these hormones before, but they are Ghrelin and Leptin. Big time hormones when it comes to making food decisions. Ghrelin signals your brain that it is time to eat and when you are lacking sleep it makes more. Leptin signals the brain when to stop eating and with lack of sleep this hormone decreases. Seems to me this is a dieters nightmare.
  • Cortisol (stress hormone) levels increase when you are lacking sleep and this means your body wants to hang on to fat to save it for the energy your body needs to get through the day. Even if you are losing the weight, you aren't necessarily losing the good stuff, the fat, as much as you could if you were getting more sleep.
  • Insulin also becomes a problem. With lack of sleep the insulin produced in your body is not working as well processing the fat from your bloodstream and instead stores it as fat.
So to recap and really let this sink in. You want to eat foods that are quick, easy and not good for your body. Not only do you want to eat chicken tender, pizza and Chinese food, but when you do, it will be extremely hard to eat them in moderation as your body will just want to keep eating and not signal your brain when to stop. If you are eating perfectly, but not getting enough sleep your body is still going to hang on to fat. Your body will need to store fat so that you have energy in order to do the simple things never mind trying to get in a workout.

So I need to be doing a whole lot more of this...
My boys who can fall asleep anywhere in about 2 seconds!
Wow! Hugely eye opening for me. So what is an appropriate amount of sleep for an adult? 7-9 hours of sleep. What is your average? Mine is probably 5-7 interrupted hours of sleep. I think I require 8. I like sleep! I never get 8. Most nights I am in bed between 11pm and midnight (sometimes later) and I am up (AKA dragging myself from bed) between 6-7am.

Now if I went to bed at 11pm and woke at 7am every morning as a routine, this would make 8 hours. Ideally though, I would be up at 6am. This would make my mornings so much smoother. This means, I need to get to bed by 10pm. It seems impossible for me though given my current routine, or lack there of, I should say! So, I need a plan. I see now how important sleep is for my journey even beyond what I thought before, so it is not something I want to do, it is now something I need to do. I need to stop binge watching shows on Netflix and start cutting myself off at 10pm.

The Plan...
  • Start getting ready for bed with the kids. I might be in pajamas early, but I haven't brushed my teeth, washed my face or any of that stuff until I am getting ready for bed. So sometimes I might end watching TV between 10 and 10:30 but then I go do all of my bed time prep and boom, next thing I know it is 11! If I do this step with the kids then I can relax and when I am ready for bed, I just go. This seems like it would work much better!
  • I am going to go back to drinking herbal tea. For a while I was drinking a sleepytime tea and I am going to do that again. I think it will help me to stop snacking and it will be soothing for me at night.
  • At least once a week, I am going to try to take a bath. I know once a week may seem over the top. I haven't taken a bath in at least a year, what makes me think I can do it once a week?? Well, I say, why shouldn't I? I LOVE to take a bath so why has it been over a year since I have done it? I am going to relax in the tub with a magazine once a week and settle my body before I go to watch TV.
  • And at least at first I am going to take Melatonin. I think I can try really hard to settle my body earlier, but reality is I am trying to reset my clock and I think it might take more than some tea and a bath!
Who is with me to get more sleep?? I want to hear what your nightly routine is? How many hours of sleep do you typically get? My goal is 8, what is yours??
****I am no sleep expert, I got all my information from WebMD. To read the article click here.
Come back tomorrow for How the Jeans Fit Friday! 

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