When you’re getting a consultation at the gym or a check-up at the doctors, how often are you asked about you’re sleeping habits? Most people consider their sleep pretty low on the totem pole of life’s priorities due to the demands of the fast-paced, high demand society. According to new research too, few people actually have the time available to get sufficient sleep. The Cancer Council even now calls lacking sleep a public health epidemic with long term sufferers prone to carcinogenic affects. Unfortunately, this neglected time is also extremely important in reaching a healthy weight.

Without Sleep, This Would Disappear

The first important lesson is that sleep is an important protector of your lean muscle mass. Even if you don’t want to look like a body builder, muscle tissue is the engine behind your metabolism. Since muscles are constantly crunching away calories, it’s vital that you do everything you can to protect (and build) lean muscle mass. By doing so, you’re preserving your daily metabolism.

Another way sleep affects your metabolism is through calorie expenditure. Getting a good night of sleep leads a person to expend about 100 more calories per day. This may not seem like much at first glance, but comes into perspective when you realize those “non-sleepers” should be burning way more since they’re up and moving around hours before the “good sleepers”.

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Two Hungry Sleep Hormones

Next, you need to know about how sleep controls your hunger. Ghrelin and Leptin are two hormones that get grumpy just like you do when sleep is lacking and this leads to dramatically altered hunger. As a little bit of background, Ghrelin is a “go switch” that tells our brain to eat when we’re hungry. Leptin does the opposite, telling our brains we’re full after eating. If you ever had a day when you crave a specific type of food or can’t seem to get full, often times this can be because Ghrelin and Leptin are not working right.

Lastly, anyone who has gone a night without sleep knows that being tired and groggy is the perfect way to lose exercise motivation. When you’re tired, your performance in workouts is likely to suffer and you’re also far less likely to even make time to work out in the first place.


What can you do?

Realistically, your sleep habits may not always be up to you. Occasional sleepless nights can come about from work, stress, sickness or many other factors outside of your control. That’s okay, because there’s still many things you can do to reverse a sleep deprived day.

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For instance, when hunger is raging, keep water close by, chew gum and eat high protein, high fiber foods to fight it off. Another good thing to do is to keep consistent habits, by trying to always wake up at the same time and have your meals at very similar times. This helps you better handle sleep interruptions in the future.

In addition to keeping some consistency in your eating and sleeping, it’s important you create a perfect sleep sanctuary. You may be getting less restful sleep if your resting chambers aren’t ideal. Lights can prevent a person from feeling tired, so always try to keep your quarters as dark as possible. Also, try to shut off the TV and computer screens at least 30 minutes before bed. Finally, 18-22’C (slightly cool) is the ideal sleeping temperature for most people. These are some basics for ensuring good quality nights of sleep.

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