Sleep prevents you from trudging through life like a mindless drone; but did you know a good night’s sleep is also key for maintaining the proper weight? There’s a very significant relationship between sleep and obesity.
Researchers at the University of Chicago restricted a group of healthy men and women to four hours of sleep a night. After six days the subjects’ metabolisms and hormone levels were so out of whack that their bodies had a hard time processing glucose in the blood – a problem common in overweight diabetics (this is seen in higher upper back and love handle body fat scores for the general population as well). In a follow-up study, the researchers examined "normal " sleepers as well as a second group of people who slept fewer than six hours a night. The sleep deprived group needed to produce 30 percent more insulin to process their food, a trait that predisposes people to weight gain and increases the risk of obesity over time. (along with this, hyperinsulinemia is a MAJOR player in peoples self esteem, mental acuity and just plain old day to day energy - VERY impt to control this!!!)
Study after study has shown that sleep deprivation can disrupt your metabolism, wreaking havoc on the body’s ability to maintain a healthy weight. Why? Fat cells produce a hormone called leptin, which helps the body keep track of how much potential energy (i.e., fat) it has stored. Leptin production peaks when you’re asleep, and that spike can be interrupted if you deprive yourself of sleep. This leaves your body with an unreliable measurement of how much energy it has in reserve and ultimately causes it to end up storing calories rather than burning them.
Another drawback from not sleeping enough? It’s easy to confuse feelings of fatigue with feelings of hunger, so you end up eating when you’re really just tired. Shoot for the ideal of eight hours a night. Depending on you’re body, you may ultimately need even more; preferably in a VERY dark room out of sight of the alarm clock.
My emperical data agrees as well with what alternative medicine practitioners have seen before, that sleeping more hours BEFORE midnight accounts for more recovery sleep than hours after - that is - a general concensus from clients I ask about this would be that if they sleep from midnight till 8 am, they are not as well recovered or show as much insulin control as those who sleep from 9 pm till 5 am...both 8 hours but much different in recovery and energy balance.
If you're wired and tired at night - it could be from working out too late in day, consuming caffeine too late in day, eating too many grains and sugars at supper or late snack or just plain anxiety about something...the first few parts can be taken care of..with respect to anxiety...WRITE IT DOWN...journalling has worked well for a lot of folks to get things out of mind...it could be this:
- nice day, seemed long, gotta get those charts ready for boss tomorrow early AM
- looking forward to OPT workout, will tackle that when i get to it
- i am very grateful for my health and surroundings; i decide upon all that comes my way
This works, believe me, it may turn into a nightime ritual of acceptance and gratitude...a good step in the right direction off topic...but charting how you feel each day is good as you'll see balance in how you perform physically and spiritually each day as it relates to sleep/recovery
Play with foods later in PM as well to see how you sleep and track it...some have found that higher amounts of fats and protein later are fine for sleep....i recommend full fat organic dairy and berries to those who can handle dairy fine as later snacks and this seems to help a lot - its the milk protein and low sugars creating a nice slow digestion as well as some serotonin like effects that does the trick...for others, play with things EXCEPT grains and see how you do...sidenote...on personal observation - a large DQ blizzard does not work for that milk protein thing - it only causes waking at 2 am wondering if you're having a heart attack.