Hey folks! How’s your week going? Have you been exercising? Drinking your water? Saying “No” to treats? And most importantly have you been getting a good night’s sleep?
Sleep? Why is the Fitness Cheerleader asking me about my sleep? Does sleep cause weight loss?
Well – no, sleep doesn’t cause you to lose weight, but it certainly plays a vital role in preventing you from sabotaging your healthy eating plans. You see, when you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases a stress hormone called cortisol. And guess what? That nasty stress hormone cortisol causes our bodies to break down protein (our muscles) turning it to glucose (sugar). This excess sugar is used for fat production and triggers our bodies to release insulin. But guess what? Our bodies over-produce insulin, therefore dropping our blood sugar levels too low. This tells our brains that we are ravenously hungry and need to eat. It makes us crave sugar and that excess sugar is used for fat production…. Ahhh – isn’t that a nice vicious cycle?
But wait! That’s not the only vicious cycle cortisol causes! Elevated cortisol levels also make it difficult to fall asleep… so again, you don’t get enough sleep and want to spend the whole next day tired eating a ridiculous amount of sugar laden foods. Lovely.
Yes – Cortisol is bad… very, very bad. Also, having elevated levels of cortisol has been found to lead to:
- Lowered immunity
- Poor short-term memory
- Weight gain, especially in the abdominal region and the waist
- Loss of muscle tone
- Reduced growth hormone, testosterone, DHEA and estrogen
Seriously folks – Sleep is important! Just ask my kids what mommy is like if she hasn’t gotten enough sleep! Numerous studies have linked the oversecretion of cortisol with obesity and increased fat storage in the body, so if you want to start having control of your cravings, and start getting fit stop reading this article and get to sleep! I’m telling you this because I love and care for each one of you. Good night and sweet dreams.