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lack of sleep. You already know that sleep is very important for keeping your health in general. But did you know that includes helping with keeping a healthy weight?
When we don't get enough sleep, it can mess with the hormones that control hunger and fullness, making us feel more hungry and less full. This can make it harder to lose or keep off weight!
One hormone that sleep affects is ghrelin, which is known as the "hunger hormone." When we don't get enough sleep, our Ghrelin levels go up. This can make us feel hungrier and more likely to eat.
Leptin, another hormone, is called the "satiety hormone." When we don't get enough sleep, our leptin levels go down. This can make us feel less full and more likely to eat.
Do you see what’s going on here now?
As if these two hormones going unbalanced wasn’t enough here is one more hormone getting messed up. Not getting enough sleep can make cortisol. This is a stress hormone that can also make you gain weight, especially around the middle.
Women should try to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night, but some people may need more or less. It's also important to stick to a regular sleep schedule and get into good sleep hygiene habits, like not using electronics right before bed and making sure your bedroom is dark, cool, and quiet.
I used to allow myself to sleep in on the weekends. A lot of women do this when they can. After all, why not pamper ourselves a little bit by catching up on some sleep, right?
Well, in the first place, you can’t really catch up on sleep. What you didn’t sleep, it’s gone. There is no making up for it later.
Second, keeping your body regulated by sticking to the same routine throughout the week is a better idea.
Now instead of waking up at noon on the weekends, I wake up maybe 30 minutes later. What I do allow myself to do is stay in bed (awake) for as long as I feel like it. This is usually an hour because I still have things to do.
But you get the point.
This may not sound like much to you but when you take into consideration the fact that now that my sleep schedule is more balanced, the quality of my sleep has drastically improved!
Here are some more tips that might help you get a better night's sleep:
Stick to a regular sleep schedule - Even on the weekends, try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This helps set your body's internal clock, making it easier to go to sleep at night and wake up in the morning.
Make your bedroom a good place to sleep - Make sure it is dark, cool, and quiet. If you need to, use earplugs or a machine that makes white noise. A mattress and pillows that feel good can also help.
Limit your time in front of a screen - The blue light from screens can stop your body from making melatonin, a hormone that helps you sleep. Try to stay away from screens at least an hour before you go to bed.
Don't drink coffee or alcohol right before bed - Caffeine and alcohol can both make it hard to fall asleep. Try not to drink or use these things at least a few hours before going to bed.
Relax before going to bed - Try deep breathing, yoga, or meditation to help calm your mind and get your body ready for sleep.
Regular exercise - Getting regular exercise can help you sleep better. Just make sure to finish your workout a few hours before bed. Working out too close to bedtime can make it harder to fall asleep.
Check how much you ate before bed - Don't eat big meals right before bed, and stay away from spicy or high-fat foods that can make you feel sick.
How many of these do you already do? How many of these are you going to start trying? If you have still have trouble going to sleep or staying asleep, it may be time to talk to your doctor. You can find out if supplements are necessary or if there is anything else they recommend.
Getting enough sleep is important for keeping a healthy weight because it helps control hunger and fullness hormones and keeps you from getting stressed out from not getting enough sleep. Keep in mind that sleep is just one of many things (diet, exercise, etc.) that can help you control your weight.
If your current goal is to lose weight, make sure to prioritize eating healthy, exercising, and sleeping. These three basic things will help regulate your hormones and energy. If you have questions or need someone to help keep you accountable - contact me!
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