After the fourth night of mind-blowing sleep and the chirp of birds, I decided I’d cover one of my favorite subjects again since I’ve laid off the sleep banter for a while now. I truly believe sleep is an underestimated key to wellness and health, but something we often disregard as something we’ll do later or when we’re dead. Today I stumbled upon an article on sleep, which is perfect (again those signals in life. I had several options for today’s post and this article came to me, basically begging me to write about sleep). It related sleep and its effects on weight (I’ll give you a hint sleep helps aid weight-loss).
- Reduced Insulin Sensitivity: To start this may affect your ability to transfer nutrients, which will could cause mental (which can lead to increased hunger) or physical fatigue. When insulin resistance takes place, your body will often respond by releasing what? You betcha, insulin! What else: Insulin stimulates the uptake of fat into the fat cells, Insulin increases the supply of glycerol for the ‘fixing’ of fat in the fat cell, and Insulin inhibits breakdown and release from the fat cells.
- Raised Cortisol Levels: This is another of my favorite topics, which I will be reviewing next week. Think stress, and stress loves to accumulate in your gut, plus it loves to tease and taunt insulin. This is not good!
- Raised levels of ghrelin, covered this too. Basically this works with appetite and you may eat more.
- Lowered levels of leptin: Another topic we’ve discussed, this is about hunger too. Plus if you’re wanting to have an optimal metabolism, you may want to get a hold on this one!
- Fatigue:Who wants to be tired! Who honestly wants to exercise when they have no motivation.
Most of this shouldn’t come as a surprise, but for anyone new to the site it’s a good reassertion of things we’ve covered (click the links to find out more about each individual component). Before we finish I’d like to give my own testimony to sleep. I practice sleep. What? Yep, just like I practice lifting kettlebells and my zumba moves and just like I practice eating healthy nourishing food. How do I do this? Well, if we go back to the circadian rhythm part, then you’ve got the gist of it. Basically I go to bed fairly early (I admit that I don’t lay down as soon as it’s dark, which is hard in the winter because it gets dark at 6 and I’m still at work), but I do try to be in bed by at least 10. Sometime between 9-9:30 is ideal, and occasionally when I’m really practicing my sleep I’ll make it by 8:30) and then I wake up in the morning naturally, as the sun rising and the birds are out chirping their sunrise chorus, then I too and up, alarm clock free. Why is it important to do this? Well rising naturally, I don’t have the instant morning spike of cortisol from the alarm clock. Mostly I am concerned with hormones. When I look at eating, hormones like leptin and insulin play a key role in this. Same thing with sleep, I want my hormones restored, especially my growth hormones after a heavy kettlebell session. I also, find that I am restored and in good spirits (there is never a ‘wrong side of the bed’ in this practice)- which again makes sense when you think about serotonin and other important brain players. I love sleep, and me on little sleep is not a good a thing (which is why I’ve turned down many nights out with my friends in favor of sleep, get a hold of me during the day and we can hike, but a bar where I will not drink is not something I’m willing to sacrifice sleep for).
Sleep for weight loss, stress management, rejuvenation, and less hunger pains. Practice your Zzz’s!