Sleep, stress and weight loss

We explain how sleep and no sleep correlates to stress and weight gain. And why it’s important to get a good nights sleep.

The National, Heart, Lung and Blood Institute say that sleep deprivation is a common problem in the United States. It is the same in Australia as well with 45% of people not sleeping well in any given night.

Sleeping right is a basic human need. We need about 7-9 hours of quality sleep a night. Without that, you’ll feel hungrier and you’ll want to eat more. You’ll want to eat about 300 calories more to stay awake. The British Nutritional Foundation says that when you don’t sleep well you make poor dietary choices. In 2014 I had poor sleep habits and I made very bad choices.

Not sleeping well happens a lot in office environments and environments where you have to do shift work. In office environments, you have to meet deadlines and so that can mean staying up until late to get those done. In office environments, people have coffees around 4pm just to keep them awake. Hence they put on weight in the long run as the caffeine keeps them up all night.

When you sleep more you’ll feel much better in the morning and you’ll want to do more stuff. And eat less and keep caffeine to a minimum. That’s why those that sleep better lose weight.

When you sleep badly your stress levels will hit the roof. Your cortisol levels will hit the roof and that’s not good.  Your body will hate you for it and if you do this for a while, you’ll gain weight. And this why some of the mental health problems can occur.

How to get a good night’s sleep

  • Limit caffeine after 12pm. The body needs time to burn off that caffeine, so if you have it too late you’ll be very energized
  • Do some exercise each day- Exercise tires us out but don’t leave it until too late in the day otherwise you can’t sleep.
  • Go to bed early if you can
  • Don’t have large meals late at night if you are a really sedentary person. Meals that are large takes a while to burn before bed.
  • Keep the temperature in your room nice. You don’t want it too hot or too cold. 20C-23C should be fine
  • Keep technology out of the bedroom.
  • Don’t have naps in the day even if you sleep badly the night before.
  • Limit stress before bedtime if you can. Be organized and if you need to write the tasks down for the next day before going to bed.

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