Oh no, another sleep article telling you how bad you are for not getting your 8 – 10 hours of sleep a night.
I know that’s what you’re thinking because I’ve read so many of these telling me how important it is to get 8 hours of sleep but what I’ve realised is that no one really tells you why you need to get more sleep, so let me give you a quick update as to why you should be getting enough sleep.
Why should you sleep more?
Well, the first thing I want to share with you is that the reason you’re probably not losing weight is because you’re lacking good quality sleep. When you aren’t getting enough sleep and you wake up tired the body wants energy and to get rid of the tiredness and when the body craves energy it thinks of sugar.
This is when Ghrelin (a hunger hormone) is increased which causes our stomach to signal to our brain that we need food! Sugary foods are abundant in calories and that’s why we go for them.
We always tend to go for sugary foods because they’re easy to eat and high in calories, Which means when you’re lacking sleep and you’re craving sugar you’re more likely to give into temptation and then you will eat more food than you should have during the day. When you wind up consuming too many calories, especially from sugar that’s one of the main reasons you fail to keep off the weight.
Another reason you want to make sure you’re having good sleep is for you to build lean muscle. Your body doesn’t actually grow when you’re working out in the gym. That’s when you’re breaking down the muscle. You grow more lean muscle when you’re resting and recovering and sleep plays a crucial role in this.
If you’re constantly going to the gym and training hard, but not giving your body enough rest at night to recover then you can kiss your sweet muscle gains goodbye.
Basically, if you want to lose fat and gain lean muscle then you’re going to need to get good quality sleep and here’s 3 ways you can do that.
Sleep In A Dark Room
How many lights do you have on in your room? Lights that come from a switchboard, lights from your computer, lights from outside and everywhere else can turn your room into a mini Las Vegas. When there’s too much light being produced in your room the brain still thinks it’s day time which means that it’s not going to produce the melatonin you need to get into a deep sleep.
What you should do is eliminate all of the artificial light in your room by using things like blackout curtains, taping over the lights on your switchboard and turning your laptop off at night. Making small changes like this can help your body get into a deeper sleep and help you recover better.
Block The Blue Screens
Before you go to bed what’s the last thing you do? If you’re like most people it’s to check facebook, or send a message. The problem with this is that you’re shining light into your eyes again and like I talked about earlier you’re signalling to your body that it’s still daytime.
In order to prevent this, use your night shift mode on your i-phone if you have one and also install an app called F.Lux on your computer which changes the colour temperature of your screen and will stop the blue light from shining on you.
If you watch T.V at night, then I would suggest buying yourself a pair or blue light blocking glasses. I like using the brand Swannies because it doesn’t make me look like a speed dealer and if I plan to go out with friends I don’t want to embarrass them or myself.
Read A Book
It’s hard to switch off at night, especially with all of the negativity around at the moment and if you’re constantly thinking and have things on your mind then it’s going to be tricky for you to go to sleep. What I like to do 30 minutes before bed is to read a book and take my mind off everything else that happened during the day.
This is a great way to unwind and usually, you will find yourself dosing off much quicker than usual. Try not to read anything crazy like Stephen King or somebody that will give you nightmare. Read something that’s easy and isn’t going to require a lot of willpower because if you’re trying to think too much or stimulating your brain then you’re not going to be able to fall asleep.
I wanted to keep this article short, brief and to the point because I know how boring some of these things can be when all you need is the information to go and do it. So start to black out your room, cut off the blue light and read a book before bed and I promise you it will help you lose fat faster and gain lean muscle.