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Did you know lack of sleep can affect weight loss by throwing your hormones out of whack, causing you to feel hungrier? Weight loss and sleep are more closely tied than you might think. And, by burning the candle at both ends, you’re sabotaging your efforts to lead a healthy lifestyle. On average, how many hours are you sleeping each night? Comparatively, how many hours do you think the average adult needs per night? You may be surprised to learn that an average adult requires about 8 hours of good sleep each night to feel well rested.

You may feel sluggish, maybe almost slightly drunk

Are you hitting snooze several times before you get up, leaving you feeling tired from the get-go? By doing this, you’re setting yourself up to sabotage your good intentions before the day even begins.  Running short on sleep dulls brain activity where you need it – your frontal lobe, which is in charge of decision making. Making decisions like impulse control. You may feel sluggish, maybe almost slightly drunk – how could you make a quick clear decision? It also affects your hunger and fullness hormones, ghrelin and leptin. Cortisol levels also rise when you aren’t getting enough sleep. These Cortisol hormones are associated with increased fat storage.

I don’t know about you, however, when I am tired, I get lazy, and when it comes to food that’s not good!  When tired, I tend to grab whatever is quick and easy! Anything to give that pleasure centre in my brain a quick pick-me-up. This usually tends to be sugary junk food.

It’s almost like my willpower goes on vacation!

By the time I finish work, I often feel too tired to cook. So, I settle for the drive-thru or some other take-out food for dinner. Sound familiar? By doing this you end up eating processed food often high in sugar and lacking in nutrition. This often makes your body crave more food. Eating over-processed food that is lacking in nutrients is starving your body. The only way to make up for this is to send a signal to your brain telling you to eat more!

In the past, I’ve spent my day trying to wake up and feel alert by having an extra coffee or thinking some sugary snack will perk me up. That usually works for about 30 minutes before I crash. Then its time for another pick-me-up and the cycle continues.

Weight Loss and Sleep are… Closely Connected!

I discovered that if I head to bed for at least 8 hours before the alarm goes, I can cope so much better the next day.  I’m awake and feeling refreshed. I can clearly think through my food choices so that I’m not just going for a quick fix. My brain isn’t foggy and I don’t feel hung over. I’m setting the foundation for level-headed thinking for the day. I can plan my day with a clear and alert mind and not miss anything important. It also makes meal planning much easier because I’m not focusing on finding something quick to perk me up.

Put yourself to the top of the priority list!

Once you realize that weight loss and sleep go hand-in-hand, getting enough sleep will become a top priority!  It’s time to put yourself to the top of the priority list! Get to bed at a decent time, after all,  you deserve it!