It was late in the night on a beautiful summer evening. Sam got up to go to the bathroom when he heard something moving around downstairs.
He quietly inched his way down the stairs and there she was. His wife Amy was walking around in the dark. He asked “Amy, what are you doing?”
She replied… “I can’t sleep. I’m going to go sit in the living room and read a book until I get sleepy. I’m sorry I woke you, but you know I’m desperate to get this weight off and it won’t happen until I heal my body. Getting a good night’s sleep is key.”
Sam walked up to his wife who was standing there in her pajamas looking like a sad puppy dog and gave her a big hug. He said: “honey, anything to help you sleep better. It is as important to me as it is to you.”
Amy was a client of mine in her 50’s who had gained 25 pounds over the last 6 years. During our intake she told me she barely slept, maybe 4 hours a night.
Amy’s weight gain was the symptom. Her problem was her sleep deprivation.
Sleep is essential for keeping just about every organ and biological process healthy and functioning. Until Amy healed her body by getting consistently good sleep, she would never lose weight.
You see sleep functions like the body’s own healing superpower! On the other hand, sleep deprivation weakens our ability to heal.
Here are just a few ways sleep deprivation effects our health and ability to lose weight:
- When we don’t sleep well, stress triggers a spike in the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol signals our body to slow down and conserve energy. That means is it triggers our body to store to fat.
Sleep deprivation also hinders our body’s ability to process insulin, the hormone needed to change sugar, starches and other food into energy. When our body doesn’t respond in a healthy way to insulin, it has trouble processing fats. So we end up storing fat instead of burning fat for energy.
When fat is not being used for energy and instead is being stored, it causes weight-gain.
- On days when we are sleep-deprived, we crave more food – especially carbs. You see, sleep deprivation increases hunger by disrupting the balance between the appetite regulating hormones, ghrelin, and leptin. Hormonal balance is sooo important to weight loss!
Ghrelin stimulate appetite, while leptin tells our body it’s full.
Not getting enough sleep reduces our body’s level of leptin and increases ghrelin levels, which makes us super hungry and can lead to weight gain.
- And then there’s our brain. A good night’s sleep allows our brain to rest, repair, and grow new cells.
If you are trying to train your subconscious mind to overcome your mindset blocks that have been sabotaging your well-being, sleep is essential. When we sleep, our brain consolidates new information we gave it that day and forms new neural. Those new pathways become the information we can easily recall later. A good night’s sleep is vital to training your mind to obey the new commands you gave it during the day.
Once Amy healed her chronic insomnia and started feeding her body lots of nutrient dense foods, it didn’t take her very long to start losing weight naturally. No more diets, measuring food, counting calories or points.
And Amy and Sam were pleased to be sleeping together for the entire night.
A lot goes on in our body during sleep. That’s why getting a good night’s rest is essential to both maintaining health and your ability to lose weight.
If you are trying to lose weight without results, maybe it’s time you put your hormones to bed. If sleep is something that might be holding you back, you can download my tips to get good quality sleep here.
Until next time,