SLEEP MORE, WEIGH LESS!
The benefits of getting the proper amount of sleep are well known. What's new is the relationship between sleep and our ability to control how much we eat. I won't bore you with the new science related to the hormones leptin and ghrelin, other than to say that when your leptin levels are off you tend to feel less satisfied after you eat and your when ghrelin levels are out of sync your appetite is stimulated and you want more food. Both of these events are triggered when you don't get enough sleep and according to the latest research when these ratios are off your desire for calorie dense foods can increase by as much as 45%.
The best science, in our view, is the kind that reaches conclusions we know instinctively to be true, but just hadn't thought of it that way before. We already know we tend to eat more when we're tired. We also know we are less likely to exercise when we aren't in the mood. True, eating right and exercising improves our "Mood" because we have more Energy…but when you deprive yourself of sleep sooner or later energy levels will drop no matter how disciplined you may be. When you add getting the proper amount of sleep into your diet, exercise and weight loss strategy your odds of success are likely to improve dramatically.
You don't need to know what's happening with your leptin and ghrelin levels to make the connection between a sleepless night followed by a day when no matter what you ate you never felt full or satisfied. These new findings are simply making you aware that when your day begins after a good night's sleep the odds are good many of those cravings will go away. How to get a better night's sleep isn't rocket science unless you have a sleep disorder and then you need to get some help…the most serious is sleep apnea and the people that suffer from sleep apnea are almost always overweight. The evidence is compelling, no matter how you look at it, that the connection between sleep and "weight control" is very strong...
We aren't trying to tell you that you can sleep your way to a perfect body…but it is a factor that should not be ignored. If you feel better when you begin your diet and exercise program you are more likely to stay with it. New studies suggest between six and eight hours is about right for most people and if you fall behind log in a few extra hours on the weekend. Learning to listen to your body more carefully is a very important part of this equation. You already know sometimes you think you're hungry, but you might be thirsty instead…now you know your food cravings might mean you are tired too! Tom LeDuc