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Respect The Bedtime

Being short on sleep can really affect your weight and your wellbeing.

When you should be sleeping but you’re not, two million years of evolution are telling your body to cook up the perfect recipe for weight gain.

And here’s how it goes…

Stage 1:  your finely tuned engine dulls activity in the brain’s frontal lobe which manages decision-making and impulse control.  And then kicks you when you’re down by engaging your amygdala reward centre looking for something that feels good – and by that we mean – yes, snacks!

In all reduced-sleep studies late-night snacking and calorie-intake increases.  Choices sway towards high-carb, high sugar, and in some studies, those who slept less chose snacks with twice as much fat than those who slept 8 or more hours.

The well slept participants lost twice as much body fat as their grumpy counterparts.

Even if you manage to resist temptation and eat exactly the same diet as your early-to-bed friend you won’t drop as much fat as them. A recent study compared the weight-loss results from sleeping eight and a half hours per night versus only five and a half hours per night. In both conditions, people ate the same number of calories (about 1,450 calories per day). The well slept participants lost twice as much body fat as their grumpy counterparts.

Then – stage 2 – just for fun your body’s hormones kick it up a notch.  Insufficient sleep impacts the hunger twins – your hunger hormone – called ghrelin, and your fullness hormone – leptin.

Ghrelin signals your brain that it’s time to eat. When you’re sleep-deprived, your body makes more ghrelin – now, where did I put my big dessert spoon?!

Leptin, on the other hand, instructs your brain to “step away from the spoon!” – a good thing. But when you’re not getting enough sleep, leptin levels nosedive, telling your brain to eat more.

And 3…

Then of course there’s the cortisol spike that comes from too little sleep. Cortisol is your stress hormone, the one that engages when your brain goes “aaaargh, a lion is coming” or more recently “aargh – your boss is coming”.  This hormone signals your body to conserve energy for the pending emergency.

Congratulations – by staying up late you just pressed your body’s Store-Food-As-Fat button.

And then – just as a poke in the eye- a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that normal sleepers burned five percent more calories when they were not moving versus their tired counterparts. Normal sleepers also burned 20 percent more calories after a meal versus sleep-deprived people.  Multiply those percentages over a month or a year and the well-slept have a significant advantage.

We also can’t ignore all of the connections lack of sufficient sleep has to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure, and cognitive failure.  The need to sleep extends far beyond just looking better and seeing positive results from your diet and exercise efforts.

So if you’ve ever needed a reason to go to bed, this is it.

Now go infuse some Transformitea Nuit, then go to bed.  Sleep more, weigh less and look better.

© Transformitea


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