Sleep Cycles & Weight Loss
Weight loss continues to be one of the biggest health and fitness goals out there.
But in the battle for weight loss, did you know that your sleep cycles may be playing a major role?
Many people underestimate the benefits of a good night’s sleep. Sleep affects more than just your mood and energy for the day – it’s related to your ability to handle stress, your metabolism, and your hormones, all of which can interfere with your weight loss efforts.
In fact, many researchers claim that sleep may be the most important lifestyle factor involved in weight loss.
Let’s take a closer look at how sleep and weight loss interact, and what you can do to ensure you’re getting the best sleep possible!
Sleep Cycles & Weight Loss – The Facts
There are a number of ways that your sleep cycles can affect your weight loss – or weight gain.
Hormones – First, your sleep cycles play a key role in balancing your hormones, and many hormones are responsible for those pesky cravings and the tendency to overeat. A hormone called ghrelin, which is responsible for digestion and feelings of hunger, increases when your sleep cycles are out of balance. This can lead to some serious morning cravings.
Another hormone called leptin, which is responsible for ending feelings of hunger and making us feel full, is actually inhibited when our sleep is thrown off, making it difficult to feel satisfied and full.
In combination, these two hormonal outcomes of poor sleep can wreak havoc on your weight loss efforts by making it seriously difficult to resist cravings. Add to this the fact that regular sleep deprivation can make your body less sensitive to insulin, and your ability to burn fat and control hunger will be entirely compromised.
Stress – In addition to these key chemical processes, poor sleep also limits your ability to handle stress the next day. Without adequate sleep, your mental performance and ability to remain calm and collected will be hindered. And when you’re stressed out, you’re more likely to give in to those deadly cravings for sugar and fat.
Sleep Cycles & Weight Loss – The Solution
As you can see, the impact of sleep cycles on your metabolism and your weight loss motivation can be quite serious. So what can you do to stay on track and ensure a good night’s sleep?
First, simple solutions like keeping your bedroom cool and dark, avoiding caffeine before bed, and regular exercise throughout the day all apply. Eating certain foods before bed can also help you fall asleep faster. Some good options include bananas, cherries, and turkey.
If that doesn’t cut it, you can also try a natural sleeping aid like Top Secret Nutrition Sleep. Many people also benefit from a melatonin supplement like Natrol Melatonin, another great natural option.
And don’t underestimate the impact of exercise on sleep. Exercising throughout the day will help balance your hormones, aid in stress relief, and promote better sleep cycles. But don’t exercise too close to bedtime – it may actually prevent you from falling asleep by raising your body temperature.
If you’re a serious weight lifter, another easy solution to promote sleep, muscle recovery, and hormonal balance is NOW ZMA. This simple vitamin and mineral combination is specially designed to replenish key nutrients lost when working out. A similar but more advanced option is Shut-Eye.
Sleep plays a major role in weight loss and weight gain. No matter your goal or approach, make sure you get your sleep cycles back on track today!
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