When you’re having unexplained weight gain, the one thing that’s oftentimes overlooked is sleep. Studies show that lack of sleep increases stress, increases fat, and increases cravings. So we know right there that sleep affects your body’s ability to lose weight. So if you are at a plateau you have to look at your sleep!
It’s really not about the quantity, it’s not about the hours of sleep you’re getting, it’s about the QUALITY of sleep you’re getting. So if you’re stalled in your weight loss or you continue to put on weight, one of the things I have my clients look at and track before we develop a very strategic plan, is their sleep.
The reason why this is so important is because if you are getting very little sleep or low quality sleep, that is going to affect your hormones. And as we all know.. hormones are LIFE! I see this especially often in people who have a thyroid issue or adrenal issue because your thyroid controls all of your hormones, AND your thyroid regulates metabolic function!
When you get low quality sleep or disrupted sleep or inconsistent sleep, that is going to raise your cortisol levels. When you have elevated cortisol levels that’s going to do a couple of things…
- It’s going to increase fat storage, especially around the midsection.
- It’s going to increase cravings. I’m sure you’ve noticed that after a night that you didn’t sleep good or you just were up all night, or you got to sleep late and had to get up early, you’re a lot hungrier than usual. In addition to being hungrier than usual, you want ALL THE CARBS all day long. That’s just your body’s way of trying to gain more energy.
When you’re getting really great sleep, even if it’s just six hours of great quality DEEP sleep, you will have a greater ability to lose weight. In some cases, simply increasing the QUALITY of sleep that you get can trigger weight loss! That’s why I have my clients track their sleep and make sure that they are getting great sleep. So, how do you increase the quality of your sleep?
Well, it all starts with regulating your Circadian Rhythm. You begin to do that by making sure that you go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. Of course, we don’t live in a perfect world, so that might not be something you’re able to do right away, but it is definitely something you want to work towards. Another way to help regular your sleep cycle quicker and to help tap into those fat stores is to create a ritual for sleep time and for waking time. You can do this by making sure that every night at the same time you are lighting a candle, or you are turning off the TV, or you go to read a book, or you have a glass of tea, or just do SOMETHING that creates a ritual for relaxation. That ritual will help your brain to know that it’s time to go into sleepy mode.
Supplementing can be super helpful too! Two supplements that I’ve found incredibly helpful for almost all of my clients who are dealing with sleep issues is using Magnesium and Melatonin in conjunction while they are resetting their Circadian Rhythm. Those two supplements working in tandem can be a beautiful thing! They’re a great combination to help send your body into not only a deep sleep, but also help to alleviate high stress levels before bed.
A Morning Ritual can be the hardest part, especially if you have a thyroid issue. But you want to work towards waking up fresh and bright and energized in the morning! That starts by again, creating that ritual to help your body and brain WAKE UP! You can add to your increased level of energy by
- Using blue light therapy in the morning!
- Starting your day with one liter of water before your coffee!
I tell my clients they have to “earn their coffee”! And you do that by starting your day with one liter of water every morning BEFORE your coffee. Doing that in conjunction with some blue light therapy is very, very helpful to help your body to realize it’s time to wake up. Those things over time are going to help your body’s Circadian Rhythm to reset. As a bonus, when you do that, you also allow your metabolism time to recover!
Like I’ve said many times… when you have a thyroid issue you have a metabolic issue, and when you have a metabolic issue, a lot of times your stress levels are crazy high, and the best thing that we can do to bring those stress levels is to get better sleep. Great sleep not only affects our happiness, but it affects our stress levels, levels of inflammation, skin, digestion, and our bodies ability to recover from every day stressors. Sore muscles will start to feel less sore with better sleep, and also you’ll be able to tap into fat stores and finally lose a few pounds just by regulating your sleep cycle!
BONUS: Regulating your sleep cycle is also very anti-aging!