On average, we need 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night. If you are getting this already, another half hour will not help you lose weight, but if you are a five-hour sleeper and start sleeping for seven or eight hours a night, you are likely to start dropping weight and feeling better!
Exactly how lack of sleep affects our ability to lose weight has a lot to do with our nightly hormones.
Two of the hormones that are involved in this process are ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin tells you when to eat, and when you are sleep-deprived, your body creates more ghrelin. Leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating, and when you are sleep deprived, you have less leptin.
Sleep deprivation also increases the stress hormone cortisol which slows your metabolism.
More cortisol and ghrelin plus less leptin equals weight gain because you are eating more, and your metabolism is slower when you are sleep-deprived.
So what can you do about sleep deprivation?
First, take a look at how much you sleep vs. how well you sleep. Some people such as new mums may only get to sleep for a four-hour stretch. And there are some people who get 7.5 hours of sleep that is poor quality because of pain or an underlying sleep disorder, and this has the same effect as if they get less sleep.
Avoid any caffeine or stimulants like guarana, sugar and cacao in the afternoon because these substances make it harder to achieve deep restorative sleep.
Get to bed before 10pm. The hours before midnight are more important than the hours afterwards – which is why you always feel tired when you’ve had a late night, even if you sleep in the next day.
Unplug from all electronic ‘blue light’ emitting devices an hour before going to bed. Blue light stimulates the brain and makes it hard to wind down and relax.
Exercise also helps improve sleep quality. How soon before bed should you exercise? It depends. Again, everyone is different. It’s more important that you exercise than it is when you exercise. To be safe, don’t exercise right before going to bed.
The right supplements can make a big difference.
These supplements are my first options for most sleep problems:
NeoLife Cal-Mag – the perfect blend of calcium and magnesium. Calcium promotes a sense of calm and facilitates better absorption of oral magnesium (without adequate magnesium, deep sleep is unlikely).
Super Magnesium Gel RELAX – (applied to your skin) is rapidly absorbed as it goes straight into the bloodstream without needing to be digested. For sleep use on the tops of your feet and on any painful areas on your body.
Radiance Stress Shield – high quality Ashwagandha (a well researched herb that promotes a sense of calm by helping your nervous system adapt during times of stress.
Radiance Tart Cherry Sleep Plus – packed full of natural plant based melatonin (the hormone that enables you to reach a deep sleep state).
Radiance Dream Sleep – containing Tart Cherry (for melatonin), magnesium (essential for sleep) and L-theanine (an amino acid found in green tea that promotes a calm mind and a restful state by reducing stress and anxiety levels).
Essential Oils like Lavender, Roman Chamomile and French Marjoram. These oils help promote deep relaxation making it easier to get to sleep. Our Relax magnesium Gel is fortified with a beautiful combination of these therapeutic oils.
If you have tried all of these things please ask us for more help. There will be a solution that will work for you and our mission is to help you find it!