Did you know that sleep is critical to becoming a pro fat burner? Truly, it is an important piece of the fat-burning puzzle and has significant effects on almost every aspect of life. That’s why the clients in the FASTer Way to Fat Loss program will be focusing on sleep quantity and quality during our next round.
Sleep doesn’t come easily for everyone. Some people struggle for years to both fall asleep and stay asleep. If you’ve tried to sleep better but still haven’t found the secret ingredient you need, we’ve got a few strategies for you to try that really work! But before we get into those, here are a few reasons it is important to focus on sleep.
Lower Cortisol Levels
Cortisol is your body’s stress hormone. When your cortisol levels are high, your body stores fat. According to recent research, not getting enough sleep can raise cortisol levels in the afternoon and evening, making sleep difficult.
When you are sleep deprived, your willpower is depleted. This means that you are more likely to stray from foods that fuel your body well and reach for the donuts instead. Sleep deprivation alters your overall judgement and can often put you in compromising situations when you’re trying to stick to a healthy lifestyle.
Regulated Hunger Hormones
When you’re not sleeping, your hunger hormones (ghrelin and leptin) get all out of whack. Ghrelin signals to your brain when it’s time to eat. Your body produces more ghrelin when you are sleep deprived, which means you feel hungry more often. Leptin is your satiation hormone, and lets your body know that you’ve eaten enough. Your leptin levels are significantly decreased when you are not sleeping well. So, you are always hungry, don’t ever really feel full, and have depleted willpower…
…hello donut binges??!?!!
Decreased Sensitivity to Insulin
After just a few days of insufficient sleep, your body will struggle to process insulin (the hormone responsible for changing sugar and starches into energy). When your insulin sensitivity is decreased, you are going to store fat.
TIPS TO SLEEP BETTER…
These strategies are highly recommended for optimizing your sleep patterns. They have proven effective for countless people and might just help you, too!
Be Sure Your Bedroom is Nice and Cool
You sleep better when it’s cool. Your body has natural signals that let it know when it is time to wind down and go to sleep. A decrease in temperature is one of those signals. Ensuring that your room is cool will help your body know it’s time to wind down.
This is kind of a no-brainer, but one of the most common things we hear from FASTer Way to Fat Loss clients is that they are sleeping better. For many, this is because they are truly cleaning up their diets. Eating processed junk right before bedtime will keep your digestive system working incredibly hard throughout the night and make good sleep hard to achieve.
Get Vitamin D
Interaction with natural light causes your body to produce melatonin, which is critical in regulating your sleep cycles. Many people use a melatonin supplement, but a better first line of defense is to get out in the sun for about 20 minutes each morning. Vitamin D helps your body naturally produce its own melatonin, making a supplement unnecessary. If you can’t get out in the sun, or are still struggling to sleep, then you might consider adding in a melatonin supplement.
The blue light from our computers and phones suppresses the production of melatonin and can make it difficult for our brains to shut down when it’s time for bed. Shut off your devices at least one hour before bed. You can even purchase a pair of blue light reducing glasses to decrease the blue light effect on your hormone levels.
Keep Your Room Pitch Black
Light is another signal to your body that it’s time for bed. Be sure that your bedroom is completely dark. This will let your body know it’s time for bed and make falling asleep a whole lot easier!
Don’t Exercise Right Before Bed
Exercise increases several hormone levels. Doing it too close to bedtime can make falling asleep incredibly difficult. Be sure that you are leaving at least 4 hours between finishing your workout and going to bed. This will give those hormones the opportunity to level out so you are better able to sleep.
Sleeping 7-9 hours per night is critical to burning fat, increasing your energy levels and feeling your absolute best. If you are struggling to sleep, do your best to set up a nightly routine that works for you. Try implementing some of these strategies to optimize your sleep each night. For many people, this has made a huge difference in the way they feel, their overall productivity, and their ability to burn fat!
If you’d like to lose fat, increase lean muscle, and improve your energy and mood, head over here to sign up!