What Are You Really Losing When You Lose Sleep?
You try to live a healthy lifestyle, eat right, get enough exercise, lower your stress levels. If you’ve found that despite all this, you’re still having trouble with your weight, there may be another cause. Most of us realize that lack of sleep can affect brain and body function, but are you aware of the link between weight control and sleep?
Rest may seem counter-productive to weight loss. We’re conditioned to think that heavy workouts and constant motion are the keys to burning calories. But, even an occasional restless night can cause disruptions to in the endocrine system that can have lasting health effects. Lack of sleep has now also been linked to muscle loss and obesity, which are two things most of us struggle with as we age.
How Muscle Mass Affects Your Weight
It’s no secret that retaining muscle mass keeps your metabolism high, or that it’s important to minimize muscle loss while trying to lose fat. Higher muscle loss is also linked to performance and recovery times after workouts. However, a recent study found that the ratio of fat to muscle loss was greater when the participants had fewer hours of sleep each night. Those with more than seven hours of sleep nightly lost 50% of their weight from fat alone compared to only 25% for those who got lass than five hours of sleep.
Indications are that the result was due to a lower level of the hormones that control hunger and food cravings that are produced by the body during a normal sleep cycle. Blood tests revealed lower testosterone and growth hormones levels as well as depleted levels of ghrelin and leptin, which control our hunger centers. In addition, cortisol levels, which are directly linked to dangerous subcutaneous abdominal fat, are elevated when you don’t get your eight hours.
How to Turn it Around and Get Quality Sleep
It isn’t enough to get the recommended hours of rest, the quality of your sleep plays a part as well. No matter how busy you are or how stressful your life, creating an environment that promotes restful sleep isn’t difficult. Some suggestions are:
– Scheduling times for sleeping and waking, and keeping them consistent even on weekends or holidays
– Turning off all electronics devices before you go to bed, or leaving them in another room
– Controlling the light and temperature in your bedroom; cooler, darker rooms promote rest
A diet with a good amount of lean protein helps to reduce muscle loss, and you can supplement with a daily shake containing protein powder is you’re not getting enough through diet. Snacking on foods like cheese or nuts that are high in protein and other nutrients before bed can also help reduce the amount of lean muscle lost.
Sleep isn’t just about closing your eyes for eight to nine hours a night; it’s also about the quality of your sleep. If you’re looking for a natural way to ease your mind and body so you can recharge the right way, you can buy vitamins online with Health365 or a similar company. An optimal formulation of vitamins and minerals relieves stress and anxiety and provide a foundation for cell regeneration and repair the damage done to your system throughout the day.