The reason why you keep gaining weight despite the fact your exercise and eat right. SLEEP !! I don’t think I have met a client / member of ours that can say to me that they regularly 5+ nights a week get the required minimum of 8 hours sleep a night. I know some people have infant children which makes this impossible with night time feeds etc, but this doesn’t last for ever. The reality is that it’s become common place through the introduction of Netflix etc to sit down and not just watch an episode of our favourite TV program but rather multiple episodes etc at a time. Then this has a knock of effect with your sleep quality and when you combine going to sleep later and having trouble getting to sleep on top of having poor sleep quality it leads to inches around the waist!! Sleep releases growth hormone, and inadequate sleep is associated with higher levels of stress and lower levels of testosterone. Simply missing one hour of sleep per night than what’s optimal for you prompts your brain to secrete cortisol and shift your body away from muscle building and toward fat storage. Even in healthy young men, a poor night’s sleep results in temporary glucose intolerance and an increase in food intake. In fact, consistent sleep deprivation results in an 18-20% decrease in leptin (which affects the feeling of being full) and a 24-28% increase in ghrelin (which affects hunger), both of which can lead to fat gain. So you can be training regularly, eating right and still not seeing the results because of sleep deprivation. For some reason there is a badge of honour placed on people who can solider on with 5 hours sleep a night, but its extremely damaging to your health long term. How can we change this?
- Develop a proper bedtime routine. Wind down about 20-30 mins prior to going to sleep by reading a book and or mediating etc but avoid all electrical devices
- Dim the lights in your room and avoid bring lights
- Keep your bedroom cool
- Make sure to make your bed and regularly change bed linen as this will make your bed a very enjoyable place to be. Along with putting on new socks, noting can trump the feeling of jumping into a freshly made bed with new sheets. Ok maybe one thing can, but keep it clean 😉
- If you keep your phone alongside your bed and use it as an alarm keep it on airplane mode so it won’t beep throughout the night with notifications.
Final thoughts, sleep is vital for our health and by not getting in your 8 hours a night you are undoing a lot of your good work. For something so easily done, just sort your bed time routine and get in those quality hours.