Recently I’ve started to notice my metabolism isn’t what it used to be and despite working out at least four days a week and eating healthy most of the time I struggle to maintain my weight and notice is slowly creeping up.
I’m in my thirties now so things are bound to slow down a little but I think it’s more than just my age wreaking havoc with my ability to maintain my usual weight. I’ve mentioned before that I battle with insomnia and I think that its sleep deprivation that is causing my metabolism to get out of whack.
I’ve been reading a lot of studies about the effects of sleep deprivation on weight loss and I’m pretty shocked to learn that in some studies missing out on as little as 30 minutes sleep a day can increase risks of obesity and health problems associated with being overweight such as diabetes. This doesn’t bode well for someone who gets on average 3 to 4 hours sleep a night.
Despite not getting the recommended 7 to 8 hours a night I try to stay on track with leading a healthy lifestyle. It takes a lot of self-discipline to crawl out of bed every morning to go to the gym before work, or to say no to the donuts being offered around the office. Turning off the alarm and giving into sweet treats are easy traps to fall into when you’re tired and have low energy, which can lead to some people putting on more weight.
Sleep is as important to the body as food and water. Sleeping is the time when your body restores itself. Losing out on sleep puts stress on your body, your muscles don’t get the time they need to repair and the mind doesn’t get chance to rest and process. When your stressed your body is essentially preparing for danger, think caveman time when you were getting ready to run from a sabre-toothed tiger (might not be historically correct!!). Naturally your body wants to take on more energy to be ready to either run away or fight so appetite is increased, metabolism slows and fatty, stodgy food can help to produce serotonin to calm you down.
It seems there a bit of a Catch-22, we might crave the sweet stuff, but sleep deprivation can actually affect our ability to deal with sugar reduces which can lead to high blood sugar. Hormones go out of whack too so your body tells you you’re hungry when you’re not and a tired mind makes it so much harder to exercise good decision making and will power meaning we’re more likely to make poor food choices.
My insomnia has been going on for so long now and I have booked an appointment to see my GP, I can’t let it get to the point where weight gain becomes and issues and my health deteriorates. I’m not a health professional and all the info in this post is from my own research on the internet so it’s worth checking with a doctor too if you’re in the same boat as me.