I have been watching what I eat, exercising and getting plenty of water…but I’m still not losing weight. Frustrated, I Googled “Why aren’t I losing weight?” and much to my surprise an article popped up about sleep. Sleep?! I know sleep is when my muscles repair blah blah – but what does it have to do with shrinking my waist line?
Apparently, a lot!
Leptin and ghrelin work in a kind of “checks and balances” system to control feelings of hunger and fullness, explains Michael Breus, PhD, a faculty member of the Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine and director of The Sleep Disorders Centers of Southeastern Lung Care in Atlanta. Ghrelin, which is produced in the gastrointestinal tract, stimulates appetite, while leptin, produced in fat cells, sends a signal to the brain when you are full.
So what’s the connection to sleep? “When you don’t get enough sleep, it drives leptin levels down, which means you don’t feel as satisfied after you eat. Lack of sleep also causes ghrelin levels to rise, which means your appetite is stimulated, so you want more food,” Breus tells WebMD.
I would estimate I get 5-6 hours most nights and every article I find says you should aim for 7-9! Is anyone out there getting 7-9 hours every night?! That seems high.
Lately however, I have not been sleeping well. I’m hot, I’m cold, I have 5,000 things on my brain (who doesn’t?!)….or I’m on call. I take a pager for work once a month and while I have never slept through it, I am always paranoid I will! So, I relinquish the pager away this morning and I need to focus on getting some sleep tonight. I have a sound machine (the kind that plays soothing ocean waves to help you sleep), I make it a point not to watch TV or read in my room (because light is a stimulant and prevents you from getting adequate rest)….what else can I do to help myself get some rest?? Stretching? Counting sheep? I’ll take any recommendations!
Does anyone else see a correlation between their current sleep and their weight? I thought back to my thinnest adult weight and I was exercising so much that I was exhausted and slept for 7 hours + easily. Interesting!