You probably have heard before that getting too little sleep night after night is counterproductive to your journey to lose weight. Going without sleep causes your body to not be able to appropriately repair itself and your metabolism to not be able to function properly. Insomnia can lead to an imbalance of hormones, such as ghrelin and leptin. When you are sleep-deprived, your ghrelin level increases and tells your brain to eat. Hence, when you lack sleep, you tend to consume more calories, especially in the form of sugary and salty snacks. Conversely, when you have adequate sleep, your leptin level increases and tells your brain to stop eating, and that is what you want when you are trying to lose weight.
So, what about the reverse? Does what you eat affect how your sleep will be? A recent study performed by researchers from the New York Obesity Research Center at Columbia University delved into this and came to the following conclusions. First, the more fiber you eat the deeper and more restorative your sleep will be. So, when you are trying to lose weight, definitely make sure that you are consuming enough fiber. Secondly, the more saturated fat you eat the lighter and less restorative your sleep will be. This means that you should avoid foods that are baked or fried, which tend to be saturated in saturated fats. Finally, the more sugar and other carbohydrates you consume the more likely you were to wake up in the middle of the night. This means that if you limit your sugar and carbohydrates then you not only will lose weight but also sleep better.
Here are some additional sleep tips that you may find helpful:
- If your mind races a mile a minute after you close your eyes, try putting a small notebook and pen in your nightstand. Jot down whatever is on your mind, so you can then rest.
- If you cannot sleep, do not stay in bed. Try going into another room, and do something relaxing, such as reading, until you feel sleepy again.
- For even more sleep tips, check out our Pinterest board!