The Laziest Weight-Loss Secret
Thought I'd write about a handy fat-burning trick that has become one of my favourite pastimes 🙂
Having never slept well as a child or teenager, it wasn't until I'd sorted myself out emotionally and physically, that I really began to reap the tremendous benefits of proper sleep.
We produce most of our growth hormone when we sleep. Growth hormone (GH) plays a fundamental role in fat-loss, increases our calcium retention (to help maintain bone mass), reduces fat storage, supports our immune system, and keeps our organs operating smoothly.
Essentially, as so many aspects of our health depend on optimal levels of GH, these are all dependent upon sleep.
While sleeping, the body balances two hunger-controlling hormones – ghrelin and leptin. As hunger-management is a fundamental part of weight loss, sleep is paramount. If you have a full nights sleep, you’ll wake up not hungry.
Several research studies have shown a strong correlation between limited sleep, high levels of the hunger hormone Ghrelin, low levels of the satiety hormone Leptin, and obesity. In a nutshell (and from personal experience!) lack of sleep can make you fat.
How much sleep should I get?
Like nutrition, sleep needs are unique to the individual and their lifestyle. My optimum time is 8-9 hours. Any less and I feel terrible, any more and feel lethargic. Sleep also mitigates aging, helps reinforce lessons in the brain, and informs our natural circadian rhythms (our 24 hour inner processes).
How can I sleep better?
If you feel you are not getting enough sleep, or perhaps don't feel tired at night, here are some things to think about:
Your sleep environment.
It should be dark, quiet and free of electronic devices. Avoid watching TV at least an hour before bed and using iPads to read with (we still have books and magazines!) If your phone needs to be kept on for an alarm, try not to have it charging in your room and make sure you turn the wifi off.
Your bedtime routine.
Our bodies love repetition. Avoid caffeine after noon and alcohol in general (you'll see the difference for yourself!) Reading something light before lights out is a great way to wind down and prepare your body for sleep. Going to bed and getting up at the same time will set your inner alarm clock, balancing your circadian rhythm and enhancing sleep quality.
I hope that helps and wish you sweet healthy dreams!