I am the mother of three kids. I'm sure I speak for every parent in the world when I say that sleep is a hot, hot, hot commodity. When you're sleep deprived, nothing is more important. Nothing. Days are long, the nights are too short and your pillow could use a lot more company. All that said, the connection between a lack of sleep and weight gain is tight, but something not many of us understand.
Before I go any further, I'm not ignorant to the fact that there are many people who don't have the luxury of a full night of sleep - even given their best effort. Caregivers, first responders and those living with sleep disorders from insomnia to sleep apnea lack proper sleep, but simply can't get it due to circumstances.
While nothing can take the place of a full night of sleep, a few of our day-to-day habits, including what we eat, can help buffer the impact of a lack of sleep.
Let's get to the bottom of how sleep and weight gain relate, and what we can do if we can't always get a full eight hours of ZZZs.
The Sleep & Weight Gain Connection
- Mental effects: Sleep deprivation can affect your mood, increasing the likelihood of depression and anxiety.
- Physical effects: A lack of sleep can cause memory problems, fatigue and a lack of coordination.
- Physiological effects: Too little sleep can increase blood pressure, the risk of heart attack, risk of diabetes and cause obesity.
Bottom line: the amount of sleep you get isn't arbitrary. Cutting a few hours a sleep here and there probably won't do too much harm, but the long-term effects of a lack of adequate sleep and weight gain, among other health problems, is real.
How Sleep Helps with Weight Loss
Sleep, HGH and Fat Storage
In a perfect world we all go to sleep and wake eight hours later with no disturbance in between. Somewhere along the line, our professions, children or over-active social lives prevent this from happening. Missing an hour here and there will probably not tax us too much, but constant sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on our bodies, forcing our body to store fat.
HGH and HIIT
Let's say you simply don't have a way to get a full night of sleep. Fortunately, you can still increase your HGH with exercise! If you don't mind working up a sweat, this could be great news for you.
High intensity interval training, or HIIT, exponentially boosts your HGH. HIIT workouts, like in The Belly Burn Plan, are incredibly effective and can be done at any age. The key is to push your body to a point of perceived exertion that is very, very strenuous. Think of a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most challenging. You should be feeling you're hitting about a 9 or 10 with each interval.
Yes, that's very hard - and incredibly challenging. But HIIT workouts are usually quite short. They're not endurance workouts and they're technically not strength workouts either, but they're really effective at keeping your heart strong, body nimble and muscle toned.
If you're interested, here is some more information on HIIT along with workout you can do today to boost you HGH.
Sleep Deprivation, Cortisol and Body Fat
Calming Cortisol During the Day
Tips to Sleep Better
Here are a few steps to help get a better night of zzzzzz's.
- Create a bedtime ritual
- Go to bed at the same time every night
- Wake at the same time every morning
- Exercise most days of the week
- Avoid caffeine eight hours before bed (tea, coffee, chocolate) or cut it out entirely
- Sleep in a quiet, dark environment
- Stop eating 2 to 3 hours before bedtime
- Turn off screens at least one hour before bed
- Take a magnesium supplement (either during the day or at night). Magnesium has been shown to have a positive effect on stress and promote relaxation. This is the magnesium supplement I recommend.
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