According to Scottsdale Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, Bonnie Roill, RDN CPT, CHC, The weight loss strategist™, there are 3 pillars for healthy weight loss and maintenance:
- “Following an eating plan of nutrient-rich, tasty real foods in portions that don’t exceed your energy needs;”
- “Consistently practicing a sustainable and balanced exercise program and”
- “Experiencing restorative sleep as you awaken every morning.”
Yes, according to Bonnie, sleep is now considered as important as diet and exercise for weight loss and maintenance.” Previous articles document how lack of sleep disrupts the body’s normal “hormonal processing plant”, that when fully staffed “operates while we slumber away at night.” Disrupted or insufficient sleep interferes with the “hormonal plants” ability to complete its job, jeopardizes our weight loss efforts.”
What we know about insufficient sleep and weight management:
- As reported by CBSnews.com, one study confirmed that insufficient sleep raises your risk of diabetes and obesity. Sleeping six hours a night or less may also raise the risk of heart disease, and insulin resistance!
- According to a research published by the Centers for Disease Control, based on a study of 15,000 adults, 30% of the US population suffers from sleep deprivation (sleeping 6 or less hours per day). The outcome of this sleep deprivation includes an increased incidence of highway accidents; reduced productivity; decrease in immune functioning and an increase in body weight and weight loss resistance.
- When you are sleep deprived your body does not get rid of the food you eat, so it is stored as fat. Fat cells get “tired” and “tired fat cells” stop absorbing excess blood fats, increasing your risk for heart disease as well.
- Sleep deprivation interferes with the breakdown of carbohydrates. Several recent studies referenced by the Mayo Clinic have linked a lack of sleep to an increased risk of insulin resistance. The research suggests that “regularly sleeping fewer than six hours” a night might increase the risk of prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
- As reported in diabeteshealthsupport.com/, those people who have 6 or less hours sleep a night are more likely to be obese and at risk for pre-diabetes.
- If you are out of bed earlier and going to bed later, you have more waking hours which means more time to eat. Bonnie notes that “I haven’t met a sleep deprived person who craves a raw veggie tray at 10:30 am or pm. The snack of choice is generally simple “carbs” packed with super calories!” “Replacing this mindless munching on snacks with one additional hour of sleep, can cut calorie consumption by approximately 6%.”
In her blog, Bonnie offers these Tips to re-connect sleep and weight loss …
- Ban digital sleep robbers from your bedroom and keep it a “digital free zone.” The blue light emitted from computers, laptops, tablets, cell phones and other electronic devices (by the way, this blue light is invisible to the naked eye) “turns off” the sleep inducing hormone, melatonin.
- Check electronic devices in your bedroom for “light leaks.” Is the TV cable box emitting a light? Block the light during sleep to reduce or eliminate this light wave. If you have digital clocks and phones, just turn them around facing away.
- Cancel the nightcap. Initially alcohol helps people fall asleep but after an hour or two, alcohol regains it role as a central nervous system stimulant. As it clears the system it results in fragmented sleep and can cause several awakenings throughout the night interfering with the stage of sleep known as REM (rapid eye movement). Any interference with this stage could mean less production of growth hormone (GH). A change in GH starts the domino effect that changes other hormones that influence metabolism with the result of weight gain!
- Consider bath salts, bubble bath and bedtime! Bath salts contain one of the top 3 minerals in the human body – Magnesium, which has the ability to relax the muscles. Having Epsom salts (magnesium) in the bath water provides quick and direct absorption.
- Practice “polite portions” at dinner time. Yes, what we eat a few hours prior to bedtime has a significant effect on sleep quality. Going to bed on a full stomach is just darn uncomfortable!
- Avoid “sleep spoilers” … high fat foods. Fats take the longest time to leave our stomach, compared to protein and carbohydrates. Dinner meals high in fat (rib eye steak, pasta with Alfredo sauce, double cheese pizza and full fat ice cream) will channel the blood to the stomach interfering with the normal sleep process.
- Begin a “powering down ritual. Start to power down one hour before bedtime. This ritual trains the mind and body for sleep. Powering down habits can be as simple as turning the TV and other electronics off by a designated time.
- Bedtime rituals can also include, spending 5-10 minutes stretching your body; having a cup of Chamomile or Fenugreek tea or reading something inspirational or spiritual.
- Having a problem remembering to wind down? Set an alarm to go off one hour before bedtime. It doesn’t matter if the alarm is in the bedroom or kitchen.
These tips are part of Bonnie’s Baby Boomers Tune-up™. If you need help in figuring out if it’s your diet, your exercise program, your sleep schedule or all three that’s stopping you from losing weight Click here to learn more.
This information is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical/nutritional/fitness advice.
Additional information; Type 2 Diabetes and insufficient sleep, Insufficient sleep could be contributing to your weight gain, Sleep, hormones, and your weight, http://www.Aspire2Wellness.com, Sleep and sleep disorders at CDC, The National Sleep Foundation, 2011 Sleep in America Poll, The National Sleep Awareness Roundtable, National Sleep Foundation
Sources: National Sleep Foundation, http://www.cdc.gov/features/dssleep/, (Sleep Hygiene Tips adapted from the National Sleep Foundation), http://www.Aspire2Wellness.com, National Sleep Foundation, Institute of Medicine. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2006., J. P. Després, “Is visceral obesity the cause of the metabolic syndrome?” Annals of Medicine, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 52–63, 2006. View at PubMed , http://informahealthcare.com, http://www.psychosomaticmedicine.org/, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/, CBSnews.com, Centers for Disease Control, diabeteshealthsupport.com/, Chaput JP, et al. Sleep duration as a risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance: Analyses of the Quebec Family Study. Sleep Medicine. 2010;10:919.