A woman adjusting a standing scale and smilingDo you find yourself constantly fatigued and devoid of energy? Are you in a constant battle to lose that extra 10+ pounds? Have you experienced plateaus in developing muscle mass?
Well, one change that may help is simply getting more…sleep.
A lack of sleep can give your body a one-two punch:
More eating: Some research has shown that a lack of adequate sleep may cause you to eat more high calorie, high carb, and/ or high fat foods the following day. Those who consistently get an inadequate amount of sleep have been shown to consume 300 calories per day more than those who get 7-8 hours of sleep.
Less lean muscle mass: Muscle plays an important role in burning calories. The pituitary gland , located at the base of the brain, produces growth hormone needed for muscle mass. The production of this hormone mostly occurs during sleep. If you are not getting adequate sleep, your body isn’t producing the optimal amount of growth hormone. This can lead to less than optimal muscle mass. The lack of muscle mass can effect your body’s ability to burn calories.
. Sleep in the dark: Your room should be completely dark. Curtains should be drawn shut. TVs, cell phones, laptops should be shut off to reduce the amount of light ( and sounds) in the room. The light from an analog clock could also disrupt your sleep. I’ve gone back to using the traditional alarm clock to reduce the amount of light in the room during sleep. The glow from TVs, cell phones, laptops, analog clocks and other similar items can disrupt melatonin, a hormone that helps control your sleep and wake cycles.
Sleep in cool temperatures: Keep your room at a cool temperature. Approximately 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit. This lowers your core body temperature and can assist in better sleep. Too cool for you? Wearing socks to bed may help.
There also may be medical reasons for inadequate sleep. I would suggest checking with your doctor to test for sleep apnea, a chronic sleeping disorder.
So get some shut-eye. It can assist with weight loss, muscle growth, and give you the energy you desire.
See additional tips on how to improve sleep, and other nutritional and fitness advice, in my book,Body Under Construction.


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