More than 15 years later I’ve kept the weight off, mostly through exercise, diet, and finding a better work/life balance. It turns out ditching the job that required 70% travel reduced my stress levels which helped improve my sleep—and that was the real game-changer.
If you want to trim down, consider factors that may be impacting your waistline beyond what you eat or whether you exercise. It could be that poor sleep habits are making you gain weight.
Like exercise and diet, quality sleep can be a catalyst for maintaining a healthy weight. In contrast, poor sleep habits can harm your health – and can make it hard to lose your belly fat.
Researchers from the Mayo Clinic report a link between sleep issues and being overweight. Simply put, fatigue leads to stress, and that can lead to poor food choices.
Effects of Sleeplessness
Think back to the last time you suffered through a sleepless night. Put a check in the box that fits how you felt or acted the next day:
- Did you feel foggy-headed and have difficulty concentrating?
- Were you irritable or impatient?
- Did you skip your exercise class or the gym?
- Did you nap on the sofa after dinner?
- Did you eat starchy foods, like white potatoes or corn?
- Did you snack on cookies or candy for a jolt of energy?
- Did you have a sugary soft drink (or two)?
- Did you consume more caffeine than usual?
- Did you opt for pizza, pasta, or carb-heavy meals?
My checkmarks are proof positive that I make poor food choices when I’m stressed or fatigued. According to the Mayo Clinic researchers, I’m not alone. They observed that the sleep-deprived show an increased hunger for carb-heavy, high-calorie foods.
Restless Sleepers Eat More Calories
A 2016 study found that sleep-deprived people eat as many as 385 surplus calories following a night of restless sleep. Lacking energy, those extra calories go unused, leading to a potential for weight gain over time.
Improving sleep quality can help you avoid high insulin producing foods. And that can have more benefits than helping you fit into a size 6 jeans again. It might help keep type II diabetes or cardiovascular disease at bay—two health issues impacting millions of overweight Americans.
One night of restless sleep won’t pack on the pounds, but the health effects of poor sleep are cumulative. Here’s how that can impact your waistline.
Sleep Affects Energy & Mood
Sleep disruptions can wreck your waking hours, impacting your energy level, mood, focus, and performance. That can lead to more stress that makes it hard for you to fall asleep.
This cycle of poor sleep and low energy can elevate the stress hormone cortisol. Elevated cortisol can interfere with melatonin production, making it harder to get quality sleep. High cortisol levels may also slow metabolism and contribute to weight gain!
To break the cycle so you can feel more energized and help your waistline, consider a natural sleep supplement. Swisse Ultiboost Sleep combines a blend of valerian, hops, and magnesium, which work together to restore your body’s natural sleep cycle.*
Hops and valerian work together to relax and calm the nervous system, promoting a more restful sleep. Combined with the magnesium, all three ingredients work to lower cortisol levels. As stress hormone levels lower, your body is better able to naturally release melatonin – allowing you to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Investing time into a nightly sleep routine can also help ensure that you are getting the rest you need. For tips on eliminating sleep disruptors, download our free eBook, Can't Sleep? 15 Ways to Get Your Slumber.
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Ϯ Please consult your healthcare professional before use if you are experiencing long-term sleep difficulties, pregnant, nursing, giving to children, taking any medication or have a medical condition. Keep out of reach of children. Do not drive or operate machinery when taking melatonin. Not suitable for infants.