This is the Best Drug Ever...
There’s this drug that someone told me about and it’s honestly the BEST drug I’ve ever tried. It’s called SLEEP. If you have young kids you might have heard other women talk about it and wondered when you’ll get a chance to give it a go. Trust me, it’s amazing. You feel energised, alert, and in a positive mood. Bonus side effect? You get skinnier the more you have.
The only problem with sleep is that it’s addictive. Once you get some, you’ll want to keep doing it, because it honestly feels that good. Don’t let the teenagers have all the fun, try some sleep and see how it can turn your world upside down!
Right, now I’ve got your attention, let’s be serious for a moment.
It's sad to say that trouble sleeping is the norm for many women in their thirties and forties.
Kids, stress at work late night too much TV comment all of these things add up to less sleep than you should be getting.
But did you know that study after study has shown sleep deprivation or even minimal sleep loss reduces the body's ability to lose weight and affect your hormonal balance?
In fact, loss of slow-wave sleep, the deepest and most restorative sleep, is connected with insulin resistance without insulin secretion. In addition the areas of the brain associated with food stimulus show increased activity when we don't get enough kip.
What that means in layman’s terms is an increase in hunger, a bigger appetite, and cravings for sugary foods as the hormones that control hunger (leptin and ghrelin) and your insulin response (blood sugar) runs amok.
So what's the big deal?
The risk of developing diabetes from last 5 equal to 5 or 6 hours of sleep a night is raised by almost threefold, studies show. In fact, sleeping less than 5 hours a night for just one week causes a significant reduction in insulin sensitivity which means your body can't tolerate as many sugars starches and carbohydrates without starting the fat-storing hormone cycle. No-one wants that. Trust me.
Yes, you can (lack of) sleep yourself fat.
We’ve all had a late night in front of the TV (or out) then woken up starving, struggling for energy and reaching for sugary foods to fill the void. This is your hunger hormones at play, triggered by a lack of sleep.
You might think that the odd night doesn’t make a big difference, but no, studies have also shown that just one night of poor sleep (4 hours) raises your insulin resistance significantly which means bad news for weight loss.
But what if you're a night owl?
Some of us love to stay out late and others are morning people . In 2013 a study in Finland involving over 4,000 participants found that those who considered themselves to be evening people or night owls have a 2.5 fold odds ratio for type 2 diabetes compared to those who are morning people.
And no, lying in bed wired and tired doesn't count as sleep. Just a 1 point increment in sleep quality has been shown to be associated with a 2% increase in insulin sensitivity which means increase the quality of your sleep just a tiny bit and your fat loss results could accelerate.
It's not about length (it never is, is it?). It's about quality. Your body recovers during sleep, metabolises excess estrogren, builds lean muscle mass, and helps you manage stress.
Importantly, you don’t wake up in the morning fighting the hormonal signals in your brain that are telling you to eat sugary food to get through the day.
What can you do to improve your sleep?
First of all, work out how much sleep you actually need. Write down the time you need to wake up then count backwards until you reach your ideal bedtime. This should be a minimum of 7 hours or maybe as much as 9 or 10. Now add another 30 minutes to that, you’ve got your ‘go-to-bed’ time.
I'm guessing most of you will be surprised at how early this number is. To get there take baby steps, simply start going to bed 15 minutes earlier every week until you reach your ideal bed time.
You may feel you're missing out the hottest TV show, or alone time without the kids, but try to reconfigure your day so you can still enjoy these things at a time that isn't going to sabotage your weight loss goals.
Be a sleep rebel
Don’t be pressured into staying up late just to sit in silence (with the TV on) with your partner and dress it up as couple time. Instead, turn off electronics an hour before bed and have a conversation (or hit the sack early!).
Facebook will still be there tomorrow. So will your email. Learning to unplug may not be fashionable but you’ll be one svelte and energised woman once you’ve learned the art of not staying up past your bedtime and revelling in the joys of unbroken sleep.
For those who struggle with sleep quality, there can be nutritional changes or supplements that can help address those problems. It’s a lifestyle choice, and at the end of the day our choices affect our hormones, and our hormones dictate how our bodies look, feel and function.
The Corio Method is a unique, fearlessly fun and effective fitness method and training system that creates a stronger, fitter, leaner and more agile, beautifully balanced physique. Apply now for a complimentary Corio Kickstart Session with our coaches, available globally (value $250) and take the first step towards a new you.