Click above to watch my VLOG – Uncovering the Sleep Diet. Or, feel free to read the transcript below instead!
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Our topic today is Uncovering the Sleep Diet for weight loss. And I want to start off by saying that when we’re talking about the sleep diet right now we are not actually talking about food. We are talking about extra sleep in many different ways. Helping your body assimilate more nutrients, balance your hormones, and ultimately helping you lose weight.
It’s a sleep diet in the sense that it’s a way that we approach our sleep hygiene. The way that we’re sleeping, the quality, and the time is very important. It’s part of our overall wellness lifestyle to balance our bodies and specifically to balance our weight.
Now, if you’re interested in specific foods, we have different articles about this and an entire section dedicated to sleep foods in my Radical Beauty book.
But today let’s get right into the somewhat surprising research about the sleep diet and improving your body’s weight.
How Sleep Causes Weight Gain
Let’s get right into it. There is a study by the National Sleep Foundation which followed more than 70,000 women over 16 years. They found that those who slept five hours a night were 32% more likely to gain 33 pounds or more than those who slept at least seven hours a night.
When we sleep well, it regulates our hormones. It’s not just about the filling up and just going through the day in an up mood. Of course, that’s really important. But on a deep, deep level inside, it’s actually impacting our receptor cells. This is our communication in the cells inside of our body, which is amazing and empowering. Also, a little bit wakes us up to the fact that we really do need to pay attention to our sleep.
Sleep Loss Disrupts Your Hormones And Causes Weight Gain
There is ghrelin which stimulates hunger, and leptin that helps you feel satisfied. Specifically, these two hormones are disrupted with less sleep. Now the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study found that as hours of sleep went down, BMI specifically went up.
Again, this means that when our sleep is off and our hormones are off. We tend to have more junk food cravings, more sugar cravings, and feeling more hunger. We’re looking to aids to help shift our mood to give us a boost. So we look to food besides the caffeinated drinks. And this of course is not great for weight.
Disrupted Sleep Causes Weight Inducing Stress
A study published by the National Institutes of Health found that for participants who only slept for four hours of sleep, their calories went up 22%. Another study found that our amygdala, which is the part of our brain responsible for emotional reactions, was more active.
We know that if we are not sleeping well, we’re going to be short-tempered. We’re going to be more reactive. That stress isn’t good for helping us to lose weight. In addition, we tend to hold more when we’re stressed and eat more – looking for those sugary snacks when we’re stressed.
“Catch-Up Sleep” Doesn’t Help
Regarding catching up on your sleep, this is for people that try to sleep more on the weekends. Another study by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute found that that doesn’t really help. If you’re not sleeping well during the week and trying to sleep in on the weekends, you’re still going to be imbalanced. This is something that has to be a day in, day out, consistent part of our lifestyle.
Sounds To Listen To At Night For Better Sleep
I do want to give you a tool that can be very effective, sounds for better sleep. And this is sounds. Now, the National Sleep Foundation found that there are three sounds that will impact your sleep; white noise, pink noise, and certain kinds of music.
White Noise for Better Sleep
Let’s talk about white noise. White noise is something that I personally sleep with every night. When I turn on our air filter to turbo, it makes a white noise. For me, it helps me sleep because it blocks out the little dogs barking, cars honking, and little miscellaneous creeks around the house.
I love white noise. When I started using white noise, it really helped my sleep. This is something you may want to look into, either a noise machine or an air filter will really help to create that nice steady frequency.
Pink Noise for Better Sleep
Now, pink noise is a consistent frequency that helps to improve your sleep and regulates brainwaves. Natural sounds like falling rain, the sounds of the wind or the ocean are in the pink noise category. There’s more of a frequency versus the “Eeeeh” of white noise.
There’s a free white noise app that I have that you can find for just about any phone. When I’m traveling, I like to use plane noise, which is more of that white noise. However, the pink noise is an option if you respond more to that. Like the frogs, the rain, and so forth. There are different ones that you can choose.
Classical Music for Better Sleep
And then classical music is also said to help wind down and fall asleep faster, and there’s research on that. You don’t really want to have music with words because that could actually be quite stimulating. Again, white noise, pink noise, and classical music can help put you in that frequency of sleep, which we all need for our health our vitality.
Hope you guys check this out. Please use sound to help you sleep. Remember, we have lots of other articles and podcasts on sleep, including the sleep, beauty and wellness connection. This is such a huge topic. It falls into our body cornerstone of Solluna, body. Sleep is critical.
Thank you so much for tuning in. Please check out our other resources. Sending you lots of love, and we will see you back here very soon.