sleep_wellSleep, it does a body well.

Insomnia, on the other hand, breeds cranky moods and confusion and causes the many balanced and working mechanisms in the body to go wonky.

It’s no big secret that people who do not sleep well are negatively affected with sudden frustration, bouts of depression, and bursts of anger.

Unfortunately, creating negative attitudes and difficulty focusing is not the only things that lack of sleep causes.

Lack of sleep has been proven to contribute to weight gain. In a sleep study done with women, those that slept 5 hours or less nightly gained weight more dramatically than those who got 7-8 hours’ sleep nightly. And, if that’s not bad enough, subjects who slept less than 5-6 hours nightly were at twice the risk of developing diabetes.

There are three theories as to why this happens:

Hormone Secretion: The amount of Cortisol secreted by the body is affected by the amount of sleep we get. Cortisol is the hormone that regulates the human appetite and losing valuable sleep can make you feel hungry when you’re not because of how the metabolism reacts. Once that increased hunger kicks in, the tendency is to reach for carbohydrates…the sweet and salty kinds of foods…not natural fruits and vegetables.

Sedentary lifestyle: It’s hard to be fully active when we’re tired and so it’s only natural that sleep-deprived people move less during their waking hours. This calculates to fewer pounds lost because fewer calories are being burned.

So, not only are negatively affected in your mind when you lack sleep but your body suffers too.

Wacky Emotions: Once again lack of sleep equates to lack of concentration, focus, and action. Our emotions are easily stirred…we simply are not in the best mental conditions for losing weight and keeping it off.

Motivation is the driving factor behind weight loss. You must be motivated to achieve your goal and sleep is an important player in how well you stay motivated.

If you struggle to get a good night’s sleep try these steps that can help you slow your system down before bed-time. The worst thing you can turn to is sleep-aids or medications. They will only compound the problem in the future. A nice hot bath, reading, and writing are all great tactics that you can use to unwind and prepare your body for sleep.

As you go through your day, try reducing any stressful situations by taking some quality time for yourself to get connected to your inner self. Less stress means more sleep and more sleep means you’ll be better prepared to lose those excess pounds you’ve been toting around.

What you need to avoid is any type of activity that stimulates you and keeps you alert and awake.  Bedtime is not when you want your Cortisol kicking in.

Your body will help you to take off your excess weight…but only if your mind is aligned and reaching actively for the same goal. Weight loss and maintenance can only work properly when your mind and your body perform in unity of purpose with one another.

The greatest risk of obesity is for those who only get 2-4 hours’ sleep nightly while the lowest risk factor belongs to those who slept nearly 8 hours per night.

When your body gets the amount of sleep that it needs (8 hours) you’ll be able to focus better on important aspects of your life and your diet program will go smoother because you won’t struggle so much.

For more tools and resources to assist you in attaining your goals and achieving the success you desire in life, please visit: Carolyn Hansen Fitness

“I help clients take charge of their health before circumstance removes the option. If your quest for peak performance living is a journey I’ll put you in the driver’s seat.”