Could the way you are sleeping be the reason that your attempts to consume a healthy diet are failing? Here are the five big, bad sleep habits that could be limiting your dieting success.
1. You get too little sleep.
The right amount of sleep is somewhere between 7,5 and 9 hours. Getting less then this, will change your body’s hormone levels significantly. Sleep deprivation throws the body into a ‘stress response’ causing hormones like cortisone, adrenaline and grehlin to rise. This leaves you feeling hungry and craving high-carb, high-fat foods like doughnuts and burgers. One study showed that those who slept less, also consumed less fruit and vegetables. So sleep deprivation gets you lots of calories and very little nutrition.
2. You don’t get the right amount of REM sleep.
During this time you will go through around 5 or 6 complete sleep cycles. It is during the last sleep phase in each cycle, known as REM sleep, that your body will burn the most calories as energy is needed to repair and protect the body and mind. Getting too little sleep means less REM sleep and less calories burned while you are sleeping. Two people could be eating the same diet, but the one getting six hours of sleep (instead of 7,5 hours) would be gaining weight while the other maintains a healthy weight.
3. You get too much sleep.
Sleeping more than 9 hours is equally undesirable if you are striving for a healthy diet. Oversleepers are more prone to excessive alcohol use as well as to developing depression and anxiety, conditions closely linked with eating disorders such as obesity and anorexia. Oversleepers are also at higher risk for developing diabetes and heart disease. (Source)
4. You go to bed too late.
Going to bed late often goes hand-in-hand with eating dinner after 8pm as well as tucking into some tasty, convenient midnight snacks (and we are not talking about carrot or celery sticks here). Consuming most of your daily calories after dark is unhelpful if you want to sleep well and have sustained energy throughout the day. Get to bed early before the temptation to over-indulge hits you.
5. You sleep at the wrong time.
Our sleep needs to revolve around the sun, not around our schedules. We cannot change our biology. Sleeping the right amount at the wrong time will disrupt your internal clock and lead to excessive hunger and difficulty feeling satiated. If you would like to be able to eat well and feel full for longer then you will need to aim to fall asleep close to sunset or sunrise.
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Could sleep be making you fat?