Are you eating everything out of the junk cupboard at 3pm or 10pm?
Find yourself yelling at your family members for no good reason?
Feel no motivation to exercise? Feel like you hate your life?
It can all simply be due to...drum roll please...sleep deprivation!
To lose weight, you may think that you first need to focus on exercise and changing your diet, but a good night’s sleep is really number uno. “Poor sleep is linked to excess body fat as it can disrupt appetite regulation, cause you to feel hungrier and lead to increased calorie intake” (The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition Manual). This might be because your hormones are being naughty behind your back! Poor sleep can lead to:
Higher levels of your hunger hormone, ghrelin
Higher levels of your stress hormone, cortisol
Lower levels of your fullness hormone, leptin
Your willpower and motivation stands no chance against these powerful controlling hormones(shake your fist in the air and say, “Damn you hormones!! I won’t let you control me!”).
Be relentless in your pursuit of getting the recommended 7-9 hours sleep a night. There are things we can’t control that wake us up...like our wonderful kids, who little or big, end up messing with our slumber at times. Would it really be that bad to crazy glue them to their beds between 11pm and 7am??
For the next few days, try some, or all of the following to improve your sleep:
Wear an eye mask and ear plugs
Avoid caffeine 8 hours before bed, and alcohol 4 hours before bed
Use something for “white noise” (a fan or humidifier)
Write down your to do’s for the next day; and any worries that have been keeping you up, and what you’ll do to ease them
Don’t look at any screens 30-60 minutes before bed and DON”T look at the time if you wake up in the middle of the night
Fix your sleep before starting to exercise regularly, and trying to eat better. Otherwise, you might feel like a failure, unable to stick to either, but it’s really your sleep deprivation that has zapped your willpower or motivation.
And you and I both know, that willpower and motivation is the key to staying on track, until you reach your happy weight loss goal.