Are you struggling to lose weight, even though you’re exercising like an Olympian and eating like a rabbit?
It’s no secret how important diet and exercise are for losing weight. Though, it appears there may be one vital piece of the puzzle still missing.
Modern times are extremely demanding, and we tend to make sacrifices in the name of productivity at the cost of our health. We give up hobbies, interests, and social interactions to ‘get ahead.’ Though, without a doubt, the biggest sacrifice we regularly make relates to our sleep.
Sleeping less definitely doesn’t help with weight loss. To understand why let’s take a brief look at how the quality of our sleep influences our weight.
How Sleep Affects Weight
Apart from providing a wonderful escape into dreamland, sleep also plays a role in hormone regulation. People suffering from even small amounts of sleep deprivation will have decreased levels of leptin (the hormone that tells us when we are full), and increased levels of ghrelin (responsible for feelings of hunger).
This explains the cravings that get in the way of our weight loss goals, but what if we choose to use will power? Would sleep still be a factor?
No matter how disciplined we may be, sleep still has a significant influence on our metabolism. Poor sleep habits reduce our body’s ability to efficiently burn energy by inducing a stress-like response, throwing our whole system out of order. One study even found that people with poor sleep habits were 72% more likely to become obese compared those who slept well.
Now, don’t take this as a license to sleep your life away, as too much sleep has also been linked to unhealthy weight gain. This is why it is important not just to get more sleep, but to get more quality sleep.
4 Tips to Quickly Improve Your Sleep Quality
1. Limit Blue Light Exposure Before Bed
Artificial blue light from digital devices like televisions and cell phones mimic the blue light from the sun. The more we are exposed to this light, the more our bodies are convinced it’s daytime and reduce the secretion of melatonin, the hormone needed for rest.
2. Get Plenty of Natural Light During the Day
Natural sunlight exposure during the day will help your body regulate the sleep-wake cycle, allowing for restful sleep at night.
3. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness and meditation will aid you in training your mind to hush the random thoughts keeping you awake at night.
4. Exercise Regularly
Nothing promotes the need for sleep like a good ol’ workout, for this reason, it should be a part of your daily schedule.