The Sleep-Weight Connection and You
Do you feel like you’re burning the candle at both ends? You’re on the go from early morning until the wee hours. If it’s not being on the computer, you’re with kids or the company team. And here you are sleeping less, and still gaining weight. What gives? A long time ago you learned that exercise and staying active burns more calories to avoid extra pounds. Has the science on that changed?
You are actually living the reality that the relationship of sleep with body weight is more complex than once believed. In this blog you’ll read about a few of the hormones and natural body chemicals involved with stress, hunger, and metabolism. Their interplay affects your body’s weight balance. You’ll read tips for getting more sleep. That includes still getting everything done without depriving yourself of replenishing, revitalizing slumber time.
How Sleep Affects Weight
Sleep and stress exist within each of us like a two-way street. The central nervous system is essentially the roadway that relays hormonal messages, affecting your body’s daily rhythms, including when you awake and your body’s response to stress. You read that correctly, stress has a big part to play in this! And not just because of stress eating. It has to do with how worries about family, work, money, education, or you-name-it upsets bodily rhythms.
When daily rhythms are altered, it affects our metabolism. One example is how we process glucose, and how the insulin produced in our pancreas is able to process carbs and other foods. All of this seems complicated on the surface. It comes down to this:
- Things weigh on your mind.
- This pops messages in your brain, coming from the pituitary gland and hypothalamus.
- These in turn send signals to your adrenal glands seated on top of your kidneys.
- Adrenaline increases, making you breathe faster as your heart rate increases.
- To top it off, cortisol, another stress hormone, elevates.
- It’s natural for it to do so during the day.
- The issue is when it doesn’t go down in the evening and at night, as is best.
- It’s also produced in the adrenal gland and helps to regulate how sugars are processed.
- All of the above is related to the HPA Axis, a powerhouse for managing metabolism.
Sound sleep that is more than six hours long lets hormone levels go back to baseline. This in turn keeps metabolism functioning well. Various studies have found that sleeping fewer than six hours puts people at risk for becoming obese. Unfortunately, this is the case for children as well as adults.
This concern also applies to sleep disruption, the sort brought on by fretful thoughts, juggling multiple jobs, or neighborhood noise. When these causes and others interfere with solid sleep, your system does not get to reset your metabolism as intended. This also affects ghrelin that manages your appetite, and leptin that lets you know it’s time to stop eating!
Steps for Improved Sleep
Most likely you’ve read about and tried steps for improving your sleep. Put electronic devices away 30 to 60 minutes before bed, use white noise to block out annoying sounds, and don’t eat before turning in. These and others are tried and true. They take time and consistent practice to work effectively. Others to consider trying include:
- Regular physical activity has a positive effect on sound sleep.
- Give meditation, yoga, or tai chi a try, as these aid with nagging stress.
- Eat whole foods as you limit those that are processed and loaded with sugar. Their ingredients contribute to imbalances in how your endocrine glands and metabolism work.
Pick a Youngevity Product to Aid Your Sleep Metabolism
Sleep EZE – All-natural proprietary blend of herbs (passion flower, valerian, lemon balm chamomile, hops) and other natural ingredients to support healthy, restful sleep
BioNite – The unique liquid formula of melatonin chamomile and valerian is non-habit forming and promotes safe and natural relaxation and sleep and features the proprietary biocellular micellization process.
Good Night Essential Oil Blend – The Good Night Essential Oil Blend helps to balance the brain and body to promote a relaxing and rejuvenating sleep cycle.