In order for your body to rest and repair correctly and adequately, you need to be getting at least 7.5-10 hours of quality sleep per night.
- your metabolism is sped up during waking hours
- you burn fat during the rest and recovery period
- Ghrelin hormone is suppressed and therefore does not create a craving to eat constantly
- you are fully rested and therefore can exert more energy during exercise and therefore burn more fat during your exercise with the higher quality training
What happens if you do not get enough sleep?
- your cortisol (stress) hormones spikes reducing the amount of fat that can be burned
- your Ghrelin hormone is triggered, causing you to crave food and therefore consume more food during your waking hours
- your Leptin hormone is suppressed and therefore your brain cannot tell you, you are full, so you just keep eating
- your body does not rest and repair enough and therefore you do not burn as much fat during the rest and recovery process
- you get emotional which triggers emotional eating
- you get anxious which triggers comfort food eating
Tips for improving your sleep:
- Avoid eating too late in the evening. This is because from the moment you stop eating, your body takes about 6 hours to utilize the glycogen stores in the liver and muscles as energy, during rest time. After that it burns fat as energy. The later you eat, the less fat burning time you give yourself during sleep mode. For example, if you eat at about 10:00pm (anything) then you will have glycogen in your cells until around 4:00am. Now if you wake at 6:00am you only give yourself 2 hours of pure fat burning time during your sleep, the most effective fat burning time.
- Avoid going to bed hungry. This will just keep you awake thinking about how hungry you are.
- Prepare a ritual to ‘wind down’ your body preparing it for sleep. This might include reading for half an hour before bed, turning the lights down low, watching a bit of television to create sleepiness, drinking chamomile tea, having a warm bath or meditating.
- Ensure your room is complete darkness. The darker the room, the better quality sleep you will get.
- Supplement with Calcium and Magnesium. Both of these supplements assist in relaxing the body and preparing it for sleep. Take these about half an hour to an hour before going to bed.
- Go to be at least 7.5 hours before you are scheduled to wake up according to your alarm clock.