You’ve been eating salads and grilled chicken for weeks.
Pounding the pavement and sweating up a storm.
You’ve even been saying no to cake.
But the needle on the scales sits stubbornly still.
Argh! What’s going on?
Before you throw your hands up in frustration (or give up and hit the chocolate) it might be worth taking a closer look at your lifestyle.
There are three factors involved in maintaining a healthy weight – and we’re pretty well versed in the first two: diet and exercise. However, the third factor doesn’t get a lot of publicity. To lose weight and keep it off, you need to eat well, move well … and sleep well!
Sleep can affects your weight in several ways:
Research has shown that lack of sleep and poor sleep quality are associated with decreased insulin sensitivity and impaired glucose tolerance. Basically, this means your body can’t regulate your blood sugar as well, which negatively affects your body shape and size.
Over time, this can have wide-ranging health consequences – such as an increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
Insufficient healthy sleep interferes with the body’s innate appetite control. Levels of our hunger hormone (ghrelin) increase – and exacerbating the problem, our satiety hormone (leptin) levels drop.
As a result, we’re much more likely to overeat after a night of tossing and turning.
All that extra ghrelin not only makes us hungrier – it makes us more likely to reach for fats, sugars and carbs to deliver a quick energy hit.
In addition, people who sleep for less than six hours a night are more likely to eat out, have irregular meal patterns and snack more than those who slept for more than six hours.
When we don’t get enough sleep, we’re more susceptible to stress. And when we’re stressed our bodies release a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol helps up get through these stressful situations, but it also lowers our metabolism and signals our body to store fat.
In our very busy and stressful lives we tend to make quite a lot of cortisol. Sometimes the only time it actually decreases is when we sleep, and we need to sleep deeply and restfully to lower our cortisol levels.
People who don’t get enough sleep are more tired during the day, and as a result may curb their physical activity (meaning they burn fewer calories each day). It’s hard to get up the energy to hit the gym when you’re running on empty.
Quality sleep is so essential to how we feel and function on a daily basis. It impacts what and how much we eat, our willingness to move our bodies, our hormone levels and how we speak to the people that we love the most (to name just a few things!)
So if you’re tired of putting on weight even though you’re doing all the ‘right’ things to lose it … maybe you’re just tired, fullstop. And if you’re going to bed early, turning off your devices and keeping regular hours but still can’t sleep … maybe there’s something else going on.
- Do you wake up feeling tired, stiff or sore?
- Are there visible signs of wear and tear on your mattress?
- Does your mattress ever feel uncomfortable?
- Is your mattress more than 10 years old?
- If you spend a night away from home – for example, in a hotel – do you notice that you sleep better?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, it might be time to think about replacing your bed.
Have a chat to the friendly, experienced staff in-store at your local Beds R Us. After discussing your needs, they’ll help match you to your perfect bed so you can start sleeping yourself slim.
Best of all, if you’re not happy with your new mattress once you take it home, many models can be exchanged free. Sometimes it takes a real night’s rest – not just lying in-store – to know for sure how a bed will work for you.
Besides, weight loss feels good.
But sinking into your perfect bed knowing you’ll wake up fresh feels amazing.