Scientists have shown that you can master the hunger hormones through a proper sleep routine. Two hormones – ghrelin, which gives the feeling of hunger, and leptin, which gives you a feeling of fullness – are affected by how you sleep.
Here’s what happens when you lack sleep: ghrelin levels increase, and the leptin decreases, causing you to be hungry, and your cravings to be increasingly higher. When dealing with cravings, your tendency is to consume more snacks with sugar and fat, which surely take you to some good extra kilos. And when your sleep suffers, the feeling of fullness comes late, which requires that you continue to eat even when you have eaten enough food.
The hormone cortisol is also connected with weight. Stress or sleep deprivation can cause higher cortisol levels, and increased appetite and cravings. Excess cortisol has been linked with a surplus of stored fat especially in the abdominal area. Extra kilos can imply a higher risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer.
How much sleep do you need?
Sleep between seven and nine hours each nights. This will help you to keep your hormonal cycle in a normal range.
Do you think you have sleeping problems? Ask yourself the following things:
– Is it hard for you to fall asleep?
– Do you wake up many times a night?
– Do you wake up too early in the morning and you cannot go back to sleep?
– When you wake up, do you will tired?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, it’s time to evaluate your sleep routine so you lose those extra kilos.
How to obtain a healthy sleep routine:
- Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day – even on weekends. Your body is guided by a natural rhythm. If you fall asleep in five to seven minutes from when you put your head on the pillow and you can wake up every day at the same time, without alarm, it’s a sign of health.
- Avoid watching TV, reading the newspaper or doing sport just before sleep.
- Make sure your room is completely dark. Darkness stimulates secretion of anti-cancer hormone, melatonin.
- Do not sleep angry! Resolve your disagreements before, so you’ll be fully relaxed.
- Avoid coffee, tea or alcohol before going to sleep. Opt for a cup of chamomile tea to calm you before bed.
If you have a complicated schedule, it can be quite hard to have a steady sleep schedule. Instead, take regular exercise, drink enough water and include in your diet plenty of fruits, vegetables, protein and fiber. Do not eat foods with more sugar to boost your energy.
While a good sleep will not help you to lose weight without exercise and a healthy diet, sleep really seems to have an important role. Make sure you focus on your sleep habits and that you get a restful sleep, to achieve the desired results.