When we think of a weight-loss plateau, sleep isn’t usually the first thing we think we need to change. Instead we think cut calories, kill ourselves with a vicious workout, maybe about being hangry. But not more sleep… however, maybe we should put this at the top of the list.
Weight Loss Plateau Boring old stat’s!
Ok so we are going to start this section off with a quote from the CDC…
“A third of US adults report that they usually get less than the recommended amount of sleep. Not getting enough sleep is linked with many chronic diseases and conditions—such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression—that threaten our nation’s health.”Center for Disease Control
What does this really mean?
Now, I didn’t bold the above because I love to bold things (but I do, LOL). There is a link between lack of sleep and the problem, most everyone reading this, has. Obesity…
This correlation I don’t believe is by chance. Lack of sleep causes an increase in the hormone cortisol. This little hormone is involved in the body’s reaction to stress. When stressed it’s ok, as long as the stress doesn’t hang around long. But if we’re constantly under stress, and we don’t allow ourselves to recharge, it has the unpleasant side effect of helping us store stomach fat. BLAAHH!
Well, really it’s telling us to store fuel for waking hours that turns into fat if it’s not used. This isn’t a good thing!
How much sleep do we need to keep the weight loss plateau at bay?
Well this really depends on the person, most adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep. women tend to need a little more than men. The quality of sleep, the nutrition consume the day before, and the downtime before going to sleep all play a role in good quality sleep.
We recommend tracking your sleep and how you feel. We use the FitBit tracking to determine the amount of sleep, and the quality of sleep. This isn’t sleep lab accurate, but for in home studies and being accountable to one’s self it’s pretty good! You can also track on a sheet of paper, when you went to sleep, the time you wake up, and how you feel during the day.
Whichever way you choose to track, long-term tracking isn’t necessary! Just get yourself an idea of a good bed time, and wakeup time and follow that daily.
How to improve sleep quality…
There are several things you can do to improve sleep quality. Here is a list I took from the CDC. Well the last item I can’t credit to them, because I don’t know where I read it. But it is still a really good idea…
- Are you going to bed at the same time each night and rising at the same time each morning?
- Are you sleeping in a quiet, dark, and relaxing environment, which is neither too hot nor too cold?
- Have you made your bed comfortable?
- Do you use the bedroom only for sleeping and not for other activities, such as reading, watching TV, or using the computer?
- Do you avoid large meals before bedtime?
- Are you getting at least 7 hours per night?
What about Rest Days & a Weight Loss Plateau?
Ok I am throwing this is in here. Rest days are another thing that we need to reduce cortisol production. Over exercising can produce cortisol as well. But what is over exercising… Well that is a topic of its own, and I will address it soon. But if your primary exercise is walking or low intensity, you probably don’t need to worry about this.
If this question is making you go hmmm… please feel to free to reach out to me via any medium that makes you happy. ?We love to answer questions! That is what we are here to do!
As always sending Love & Hugs!