Many of us think of sleep as a cost. An inconvenience that gets in the way of getting more done in a day. We NEED to shift this view towards thinking of sleep as an investment. An investment in your health.
The importance of sleep cannot be understated, in that it should be the one 8-hour non-negotiable part of our daily schedule. Unfortunately, 1 in 3 of us aren’t getting enough of it regularly and it is having dramatic effects on our health.
It has impacts on every measure of health you can imagine. This includes your cardiovascular health, mental health, and yes even your metabolic health. In fact, heart attacks increase approximately 24% the day after daylight savings time (1 hour back), and the opposite is true in the fall (24% fewer heart attacks).
In 2018, Stats Canada reported that 17.2 million Canadians are overweight & obese, that’s 63% of the population…yikes! If you’re among the growing group of individuals with weight loss as one of your primary health goals, but you’re not sleeping enough, you may be sabotaging your progress.
Being underslept (less than 7-9 hours a night) means that 70% of all weight loss will come from lean muscle mass and NOT FAT. In other words, your body holds on to fat and loses muscle, the exact opposite of what you want.
When you’re not getting enough sleep there are two appetite hormones that go awry, leptin (satiety hormone) and ghrelin (hunger hormone). Leptin drops off while ghrelin increases.
Generally, people will eat 200-400 extra calories in this condition. To compound this further, the foods you want to eat change as well. Namely more carbs, sugars, and salty snacks.
Sure you say, but it must be over an extended period of time that this occurs. Not at all so. If you subject individuals to 4 hours of sleep for 4 nights, their blood sugar levels would be so disrupted that a doctor would diagnose them with pre-diabetes. In order to cause this 40% drop in glucose sensitivity, you would have to gain 20 lbs of obese mass in 4 days.
The bottom line is that poor sleep is directly connected with poor health outcomes, weight gain, and it just might be the missing link in your weight loss journey as well.
If you’re looking for guidance around nutrition to help you with weight loss, meal planning, athletic performance, stress/anxiety, low energy or managing chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes or inflammatory bowel conditions, I’m here to help. Book a free 20-minute meet and greet to see how Holistic Nutrition can help.