Ever had one of those days when you feel like you could use a cozy bed and a truckload of energy to get through your endless to-do list?
Well, you’re not alone. Take Lisa, for instance—a working mom, juggling a demanding job and two preteens. She regularly experiences these days, and she’s convinced that shedding those stubborn extra pounds will be her ticket to a life filled with boundless vitality.
But wait, what if Lisa’s got the order of things a little mixed up?
The Sleep-Weight Mystery
We’ve all heard the old adage: “You need a good 7 to 8 hours of sleep for a healthy, balanced life.” But what’s the link between your sleep habits and what’s on your plate?
Brain on Empty: When you’re sleep-deprived, your higher brain functions – those that help you make educated choices – don’t operate at their best. You become more impulsive, seeking immediate rewards – like that bag of chips – even when you’re not truly hungry. It’s like your brain’s ability to make rational decisions takes a nosedive.
Hormonal Roller Coaster: Lack of sleep messes with your hormones, and not in a good way. Two key hormones, ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and leptin (the fullness hormone), get thrown out of balance. It’s like your “I’m full” voice has been silenced, while “I’m hungry” is shouting from the rooftops. It becomes harder to recognize when you’re satisfied.
The Snack Attack: Here’s where it gets tricky. When you’re tired, your body craves quick sources of energy, often in the form of sugary, fatty snacks. That vending machine in the office suddenly looks like a treasure chest of delight, leading to extra calories in your day and potential weight gain. It’s not just you, ever noticed it’s a common meeting spot with your co-workers?
The Energy Drain: When low in energy, the chances of you feeling motivated to engage in any kind of movement plummet. When you’re too tired to exercise, you miss out on burning calories and building muscle, which can impact your weight loss goals.
So, what’s the good news in all of this? Well, you have the power to limit the impact of poor sleep on your nutrition and overall well-being.
Tips to Improve Sleep and Nutrition Harmony
Bedtime Routine: Create a relaxing bedtime routine to signal to your body that it’s time to wind down. This might include reading a book, journaling, or practicing relaxation techniques (and why not, taking a hot bath).
Stress Management: Develop stress management techniques, such as going for a walk or yoga, to calm your mind and reduce sleep-disrupting anxiety.
Setting the Stage: Ensure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature.
Meal Timing: Avoid heavy meals and alcohol within 2 hours of bedtime. These can disrupt your sleep and digestion.
Limit Screen Time: Reducing screen time before bed helps you unwind. Without even mentioning the blue light effect, scrolling social media or binging TV series do not count as relaxing actions. It can get you all revved up and stops you from turning off the lights sooner.
Your turn :
Pick one tip, write it down, think about the changes to make in your habits. Now, go for it!
Once you’ve made a change, we’d love to hear about it! Share your story with us in the comments section and become a source of inspiration for others!
What about Lisa ?
Lisa and I brainstormed about the most accessible action she could take to improve her sleep and nutrition.
She decided to cut down on her screen time, particularly scrolling on social media. “I spend 30 minutes without noticing, and then I blame myself!”
Instead, she’s reignited her love for reading, and she’s excited to discover that this simple change can help her shed a few pounds along the way while indulging in her favorite books!