We are so busy. Who has time for sleep anyways?

We are busy working. We are busy with our families. We try to cram everything into our days, and when it can’t fit, instead of saying no, we start borrowing time from our sleep.

What’s the big deal right? Everyone does it. In fact, we like to brag about it. We walk around like our 4 hours of sleep last night is a badge of honor.

But guess what?

If we are stealing from our sleep, we are the opposite of winners.

*Kick your body into fat-burning mode with our fat-burning guide.*

Adults should be getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. If you think you can “catch up” on the weekends, your missing out because it doesn’t work that way. Your body was made to repair and refuel during those nighttime hours.

Skipping sleep does more harm to our bodies than we think.

Let’s take a look at the role sleep has on our health.

Why Sleep affects Fat Loss

Sleep and Your Nutrition

Brain Fog. Skipping sleep makes your brain foggy. Sleepiness and brain fog increase the likelihood of making poor health choices. You’re more likely to grab a drink loaded with caffeine and calories instead of reaching for water. You are going to look for the easy food to make instead of taking the time to prepare something healthy.

Late night snacking. Staying up late increases the likelihood that you will snack, even if you are not really hungry. Most snacking choices we make late at night are poor choices, like cookies or ice cream. Our poor choices are then stored as fat.

Comfort Foods. When you are lacking sleep, your brain’s reward centers amp up looking for something to make it feel good. You want to get rid of this tired lagging feeling you have from skipping sleep. So what do you do? You reach for something that will make you feel good. This is when you find “comfort food” right?

It’s a vicious cycle that we get on when we start losing sleep.

Sleep and your metabolism

Sleep is like a recovery day for your brain. Just as you give your muscles a day or two to rest, your body needs to recover and refuel too.

Too little sleep creates a spike in cortisol. Cortisol is your stress hormone and when elevated, it tells your body to conserve energy and ultimately store fat.

Sleep deprivation makes you metabolically groggy. Within just 4 days of insufficient rest, your body’s ability to process insulin (which is a hormone required to turn sugar and other foods to energy) decreases…again, this means your body will store the extra as fat.

Here’s why that’s bad: When your body doesn’t respond properly to insulin, your body has trouble processing fats from your bloodstream, so it ends up storing them as fat.

So it’s not so much that if you sleep, you’ll lose weight, but that too little sleep hampers your metabolism and contributes to weight gain.

Sleeping isn’t a magic pill, but it affects so many areas of our health.

Sleep and your Glucose

Have you ever been out late one night, only to find the next day you are craving carbohydrates all day long? Well, there’s a reason!

When your body is fatigued it is perceived as a low supply of energy, which in turn drives you to EAT.

So the next time you think staying up to watch that extra TV show is a good idea, you may want to think again and choose to get some shut-eye.

Sleep and your exercise performance

Finally, you must not overlook the connection between the amount of sleep you get and your overall exercise performance. When you are short on sleep, it’s quite typical to find yourself struggling to maintain the usual level of exercise that you normally would tolerate quite well.

In addition to this, since sleep is the primary time the body recovers from exercise, it’s also when you will be rebuilding your torn muscle tissues.

Without this recovery time, you’re going to go into your next exercise session at a disadvantage.

One of the key recommendations for combating overtraining syndrome, which will quickly take you away from your workouts and limit further fat loss, is getting quality sleep.

Failing to do so could mean you having to take time away from your program, which will without a doubt, slow you down.

So make sure you’re getting your 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Not only are you going to feel better, think clearer, and be much stronger when it comes to battling those food cravings that are so common with fat-loss diets, but you’ll also really be helping your personal wellness.

Are you ready to start giving your body the sleep it needs?

Here are some tips for a better nights sleep:

Shut down your computer, cell phone, and TV at least an hour before you hit the sack. The light from your electronics keeps your brain from shutting down. It’s easy to get in the cycle of getting in bed, but not being able to sleep so we switch something on for a little bit, but really we are hindering our ability to fall asleep.

Save your bedroom for sleep. Think relaxation and release, rather than work or entertainment. It’s so easy to bring our computer into the bedroom so we can work before falling asleep, but resist it. Keep those things for other places.

Create a nighttime ritual. Bedtime is not the time to tackle big issues. Instead, take a warm bath, meditate, or read. Find a ritual that works for you and is realistic for you. You want something you will be able to complete every night to signal to your body and brain that it is time to wind down.

Stick to a schedule.  Start waking up and retiring at the same times every day, even on weekends. When you keep it the same throughout the week it will help you to be healthier.

Watch what and when you eat. Avoid eating heavy meals and alcohol as well as soda, tea, coffee, and chocolate after 2 p.m. Caffeine can stay in your system for 5 to 6 hours. Be mindful of what you are choosing at night.

Turn out the lights. Darkness cues your body to release the natural sleep hormone melatonin, while light suppresses it. We need that while we are sleeping for a better nights sleep.

Sleep Affects Fat Loss

Getting enough sleep is crucial to all of your bodies’ systems working properly. Sleep allows your body to repair and reset for the next day.

By short-changing it on sleep, your body will feel slow and groggy leading you to grab for sugary drinks and food that your brain wants to feel better. You also risk elevating your cortisol and have a higher risk of muscles not being able to rest properly between workouts.

Start making sleep a priority. 7-9 hours of sleep are needed for adults. Be purposeful about shutting down electronics and making it to bed in time to give your body the rest it needs.

I hopped on Facebook live to talk about how important sleep needs to be to achieve your fat-loss goals.

Don’t forget to grab our the Fat-Burning Guide below.

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What’s one thing you can do to start making 7-9 hours of sleep a habit?

Did you know that sleep can affect your weight? If you are having trouble reaching your weight-loss goals it may be because you aren't getting enough sleep. Find out how sleep affects your weight-loss and get tips to help you sleep better. #healthandfitness #weightloss #sleep