When You Can’t Sleep…

I noticed the more I try to fit into my day, the more tired I feel. Is this because I sleep less to fill in the extra hours that I need or is it just because I’m using so much of my energy?
I read an article regarding how to cope when you can’t sleep. Now, granted, I can sleep; it’s just getting to be shorter amounts of time. Basically, you miss out on sleep and you find yourself dragging through your day. I wonder how this can affect my weight loss efforts or my desire to stay “fit and healthy”?
How many of you out there have walked through your day dazed, confused, dulled and complaining to all who will listen how you didn’t get enough sleep the night before? Okay, maybe that was just me who was complaining; but you get my drift. (By the way, what does “catch my drift” relate to? Just had a random thought…back to our topic)

If you are suffering from insomnia; this article does not apply to you. I recommend you visit your doctor to find the reason for the ailment and hopefully; a solution. Otherwise, the lack of sleep is a stress on your body. Karen Miller-Kovach, MS, RD,Chief Scientific Officer for Weight Watchers International, says; “When you don’t get enough sleep, your body is in an after-stress reaction mode, and you go to eat.” What? Did you know this fact? She continues; “You tend not to make good choices because your body is reacting to the stress with something called disinhibition.” Again, What?

Apparantly, when you’re tired, you lose the motivation and desire that you usually have, when properly rested, to make the right choices. You are very vulnerable when your body is tired since it sets itself up in sleep deprivation mode, both psychologically and behaviorally.

You remember the “fight or flight” saying regarding stresses in your body? You know, how the cavemen needed to survive when they were in dangerous situations and by approaching a mountain lion; the body would become highly stressed and they would have to literally, fight the animal or run from it; “flight”? Okay, so anyway, that is the psychological response that happens to your body when you’re tired. There’s a release of sugar as fuel so your body can run away from this terrible thing that’s happening to it. The good news/bad news, though, is there is no mountain lion, or any other frightening animals for that matter. Instead, we are simply faced with being exhausted. The worse news is this sugar that has been released as fuel, now is converted into fat. How lovely. So basically, I sleep less, I become tired and stressed due to the fatigue, my body releases sugar to react to the fight or flight situation and since there isn’t any bad news nearby (thankfully); this wonderful sugar is changed into fat in my body. Are you kidding me? Did we all learn this in school? If not, it’s time to pay attention!

This lack of sleep may also destroy (because it hasn’t done enough, yet!) our resolve to get some exercise into our day. Those extra minutes of exercise can make or break your fitness and weight loss efforts.

What’s a person to do? Because, let’s be honest, in our world today; sometimes we have to scrimp somewhere to fit all the extra details into our already-busy lives….we can then follow the following guidelines.

1. Eat Well; Really? That’s it? According to Miller-Kovach, “It doesn’t matter what you eat, what matters is that you are on guard. (good to know) The secret is to not change how much you are eating just because of your lack of sleep; but in return, to not let your lack of sleep determine how much you eat. Pretty deep, right?

2. No Caffeine; Then how will I function? Honestly, since I’ve change my eating and cut out caffeine for awhile (doing our amazing 3-day cleanse!), I no longer crave the caffeine as a stimulant. I no longer desire the jolt of stimulation. I have the endorphins from my exercise to keep me stable and awake! The caffeine only works as a stimulant and will wear off rather quickly. This only accentuates the problem, drink some tea or other non-caffeine drink instead.

3. Stay on Guard! Remember to always eat breakfast in the morning (and if you’re still one of “those” people who continue to skip breakfast; I need to talk with you!), since it will help round out your hunger and keep you on track for the rest of your day. You need to continue eating proper portions and every 2-3 hours, as necessary. If your body is tired, the first reaction you will have is to eat to wake you up! Your body is brilliant! But you need to be smarter! If you know you haven’t slept enough and are tired, keep your food “dukes” up and pay attention to all that you eat! It could mean a drop or raise on the scale!

So, bottom line; Sleep, people! What do you have to say for yourselves?….

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