Your sleepy brain
Your brain is more likely to make poor decisions if you don’t get enough sleep. It reduces activity in the brain, which is the locus for decision-making and impulse control.
It’s almost like drinking. It’s hard to make sound decisions when you don’t have mental clarity.
Another study showed that people who sleep too little tend to eat larger portions of all food, leading to weight gain. Researchers reviewed 18 studies and found that people who aren’t getting enough sleep have a greater desire to eat high-carbohydrate, energy-dense foods.
Take all of this together and you will see that a tired brain craves junk food, but lacks the impulse control to say no.
Sleep and metabolism
Sleep is like nutrition to the brain. The average person needs between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. If you get less, your body will respond in ways that can lead even the most dedicated dieter to Ben & Jerry’s.
Researchers at the University of Chicago say sleep deprivation can make you “metabolically groggy”. Insufficient ZZZs can cause your body to lose its ability to convert insulin, a hormone that transforms sugar, starches, and other foods into energy, within four days. Researchers found that Insulin sensitivity dropped by more than 30%.
It’s not that you lose weight if you get enough sleep. But too much sleep can hamper your metabolism, which in turn can lead to weight gain.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you get a better night’s sleep
It can be hard to snooze in today’s world. This is especially true when all your screens (computers and TVs, mobile phones, tablets, etc.) tempt you to stay up a little longer.
It’s easy to understand the basics:
- Before you go to bed, turn off your TV, computer, and cell phone.
- Your bedroom should be reserved for sleep and sex. Instead of focusing on work and entertainment, think about relaxation and release.
- Make a bedtime routine. This is not the right time to address big issues. Instead, relax, meditate, or just read.
- You should stick to a schedule. This means that you should wake up at the same time every day and retire at the same time each night, even on weekends.
- Pay attention to what you eat and when. Avoid heavy meals and alcohol near bedtime. This can cause heartburn which can make it difficult to fall asleep. Avoid caffeine, such as tea, coffee, and dark chocolate, after 2 p.m. Caffeine can remain in your system for up to 6 hours.
- Turn off the lights. The natural sleep hormone, melatonin is released when darkness prevails over light.