The Importance of Sleep
Updated: Aug 23, 2020
When we set out to lose body fat the main focus is always around calories and exercise, but what about sleep?
Yes the amount and quality of sleep you get each night can have a massive impact on fat loss/gain.
Getting adequate sleep can positively impact your fat loss, muscle growth and even your libido.
Not getting enough (less than 8-7 hours of good quality sleep a night) can lead to a disruption of hormones in your body which can lead to overeating, fatigue (meaning you'll be less active and therefore burn less calories) and prevent adequate muscle recovery.
Lack of sleep disrupts two hunger hormones:
1. Ghrelin - a hormone that is often termed the 'hunger hormone' because it stimulates appetite, increases food intake and promotes fat storage.
2. Leptin - a hormone released from the fat cells that sends a signal to the brain to stop eating.
When these two hormones are disrupted through poor sleep you will often find that you eat more.
My top tips for better sleep:
1. Set an alarm an hour before you want to go to sleep to hit your 8 hours. When that alarm goes off start switching off and getting ready for bed.
2. No caffeine after 5pm. Caffeine can keep you up at night if you have it too late in the evening so I'd dial it back to improve sleep.
3. Reduce exposure to the light from phones, laptops and TVs a couple hours before bed. The light emitted from these devices can interfere with your melatonin levels (hormone that makes you feel tired).
4. Try meditation/sleep apps which can help you to switch off and fall asleep.
5. Track your sleep - I wear a my Fitbit to bed each night which records my sleep. I can analyse the quality, adjust certain habits and behaviours in order to improve it.
Why not set a goal for 8 hours of sleep tonight and see how much better you feel tomorrow?