Weight loss—Beyond Diet and Exercise
When it comes to weight loss, diet and exercise clearly are important players in the equation. There is no doubt these are critical, yet there is another lifestyle habit that plays an arguably more important role…sleep. Sleep is a time for the body to rest, rejuvenate, and detoxify itself.
A study from University of Rochester Medical Center shows that during sleep, your brain cells shrink by 60% allowing for efficient space for fluids to move through the brain to detoxify from proteins and metabolites. There is less need to go on a detox diet if you are getting enough sleep on a regular basis.
Your natural liver detoxification pathways are also regulated by circadian rhythm. Create a routine that prepares the brain and your organs to allow for times to eat and times to rest. The more routine you are, the better your body can prepare for what’s ahead.
Getting the proper amount of sleep can assure you are making stable decisions throughout the day. Choosing whether you snack on an apple or cookie can be dictated by the amount of sleep you had the night before.
Sleep helps with hormone balance, specifically blood sugar stability, insulin resistance, and leptin resistance. Studies show that one night of poor sleep can affect insulin and leptin, the hormone that tells your brain you are full. The lack of sleep can cause resistance in these hormones, not allowing them to work efficiently for several days.
Getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night is as important as making the right choices at the table. If winding down is hard for you, take a few steps to set the scene and prepare the mind to rest. Dim the lights shortly after the sun goes down and turn off intriguing devices such as your phone, computer or tablet, and television. You may also benefit from taking a warm Epsom salt bath or drinking chamomile tea to help you relax. While staying up late to “catch up on things” may be appealing, it can also be affecting your waistline.