This weekend is the end of daylight saving time and we get to fall back and enjoy an extra hour of sleep. I am here to say please utilize this extra hour if you have not been getting enough sleep the past few months!
New studies from the Center for Science in the Public Interest in addition to past studies conducted at Stanford University show that individuals working to drop weight will lose less muscle and more fat if they get the recommended eight hours of sleep a night. In one of the studies, the participants who were sleep-deprived not only lost sixty percent more muscle mass, but also had higher reports of feeling hungry and lower metabolism numbers. The second study showed that those who had experienced a lack of sleep had lower leptin levels (hormone that stimulates feelings of satiety) and higher ghrelin levels (hormone that stimulates feelings of hunger).
The more tired you are, the more tempting it is to look for processed, high sugar, high carbohydrate (and generally higher calorie) food options just to keep you awake while you are working late, etc. Try going to bed early one night and set the alarm for eight hours later, I guarantee that you will feel refreshed and you will probably find that you are able to be more productive when you are more alert and less tempted to go for the sugary snacks. If you have trouble falling asleep early, try winding down at night by having a cup of decaf tea or a cup of hot almond milk with unsweetened cocoa powder and reading to relax from your busy day. Be sure when you go to bed that you keep the room dark and turn off all music and the television to void your mind of distractions. Enjoy that extra hour of sleep knowing that it is aiding your weight loss journey, happy end of daylight saving!
Jessica Hummel, Nutrition Counselor