Sleep, is it Important? Does it Impact Weight Loss?

Sleep is commonly not taken into consideration by us in the weight loss equation, but what a mistake it is. When you do not sleep enough or poorly sleep, your weight loss process is deeply affected, as well as of course your health.
Numerous studies have now showed that lack of sleep or poor sleep is associated with obesity and weight-gain. One of the studies, a meta-analysis observed a consistent increased risk of obesity among children and adults that did not sleep enough. So, what does lack of sleep or poor sleep affect?
Lack of sleep can cause cravings and induce a raise in appetite (the hunger hormones are impacted by lack of sleep, dis-regulating the appetite control mechanism, leading to more appetite); cortisol the stress hormone is also raised when we do not sleep enough, and it also affects appetite. Poor sleep or lack of it can also affect your ability to resist the urge to eat, affecting your self-control and leading to binging episodes
  1. Insulin sensitivity – poor sleep affects insulin sensitivity reducing it, being a factor in insulin resistance
  2. Resting metabolic rate – resting metabolic rate is the calories you burn during sleeping/rest. It is affected by several factors (eg. Someone that lifts weights has generally a higher RMR than someone who does not, and burn more calories when resting). Lack of sleep may affect RMR.
  3. Lack of sleep is related with inflammation
 OHH nooo, I do experience lack of sleep on LCHF/keto. So, I will gain weight. LCHF/Keto is not for me!!! RELAX, SOME of us experience it during the EARLY STAGES. Some and early, are the key words here.
When you start keto, you automatically cut on carbs, lowering it to levels you never did before (that is WHY some experience it while others do not, people who were already on a lower carb diet, generally do not feel sleep deprived on keto). Reducing the foods that cause insulin spikes, will affect the conversion of tryptophan in serotonin (the feel good hormone, that helps lowering anxiety and inducing a better sleep), consequently affecting sleep. However, as you progress into keto, the lack of sleep will no longer be a problem.

SO, WHAT CAN WE DO TO IMPROVE OUR SLEEP QUALITY?

  1.  Establish routines. Go to bed at the same time, wake up at the same time everyday
  2. Have a relaxing tea before sleeping (1 or 1h30 hour before)
  3.  Do not drink lots of liquids before bed
  4.  Make your bedroom a sanctuary, in the sense that it should be a relaxation place. Calm, with a comfortable temperature, relaxing colours, a good mattress and pillow
  5.  DO NOT watch TV in your bedroom
  6.  Try to limit blue light at night (there are great apps that reduce blue light, some cell phones already do that for you). Using the blue light blocking glasses is an option if you need to use electronics at night, especially close to bedtime
  7.  Avoid caffeinated drinks (if they affect you) at least 6 hours before bedtime
  8.  Do not nap (if you cannot sleep at night, napping is not a good idea)
  9.  Take a melatonin supplement half an hour to an hour before bed. I use the liquid form, no sugar. If you do not have access to melatonin, other natural supplements include lavender, valerian root, chamomile, passion-flower,
  10.  Take a walk, distress
  11.  Listen to relaxing music
  12.  Meditate. Meditation is a powerful tool to relax and release calming hormones. Download an app and start slowly. At first you will find difficulty focusing and emptying your mind, but as you progress it will get easier
  13.  Make sure your magnesium is balanced (a dermal spray works wonders)
  14.  Engage in activities that help you release stress (painting, writing, cooking, reading, whatever helps you relax)
  15.  Take care of your sexual/love life

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