Check out the latest tips and tricks on fitness, training and nutrition from Stay Decided Fitness!
I’m an early riser. I enjoy getting up before the sun and starting my day slowly before any pressing tasks are calling. The hardest part for me is getting to bed at a decent hour to be able to get the results I want in the long run. Studies are showing that our quality of sleep affects more than just how we feel the next morning. For example, several studies have shown that lack of sleep changes key hormone levels and affects how many calories are burned at rest.
Bigger studies over longer periods have shown that as sleep quality/quantity goes down, the risk for developing obesity and diabetes related complications goes up. While there are several theories as to why this is true, some research points to low sleep increasing the level of a hormone called ghrelin, especially in the early morning. Ghrelin, produced mostly in the stomach, tells our body to be hungry while also decreasing the number of calories burned, not exactly something we want if the goal is to drop a few pounds. Researchers feel this is the bodies way of compensating for the stress put on the body from lack of sleep.
Additionally, poor sleep naturally causes us to move around a lot less than we would otherwise. Lower levels of natural movement, which burn calories and help maintain our energy balance, tend to lead to a bigger positive energy balance (i.e eating more calories, burning less calories) over time. I know I tend to move around much less when I’m tired as opposed to well rested and have a tendency to “snack” more rather than wait and eat an appropriate meal.
It’s obvious that getting better sleep will help set us up for the best physical results possible, no matter the goal. So how do we go about not only getting more sleep, but higher quality sleep?
Basically, sleep plays a huge role in allowing our body to work effectively. From decreasing our overall calories burned to increasing hormones that cause us to eat more “less than healthy” foods, crappy sleep impacts us from all angles. When you add in the fact that most sleep studies are done without factoring in daily exercise, you can imagine how these negative consequences are magnified when your body is demanding recovery from regular training. Keep your nightly routine as important as your morning routine and you’ll be setting your body up for better results and better health. If you need help establishing consistency with your sleep let's talk and we would be more than happy to help!