Monday, April 23, 2012

The role of sleep in weight loss/eating right

As I said yesterday, I didn't get much sleep the night before and it resulted in way too much overeating yesterday. I have no idea how many calories I ate as I was nonstop nibbling on that cake it seems. I felt awful from the cake/sugar and from lack of sleep.

This morning I woke up and I felt instantly better with getting nearly 9 hours of sleep. I've been up for 2 hours and I'm already feeling I could take a nap (effects of sugar? effects of lack of sleep?) but I don't feel tempted to eat garbage, unlike yesterday.

While going to bed last night I gave myself permission not to weigh-in today. This morning when I woke up, I said to myself, "Go weigh-in. Remember it's all temporary." And so I did. Up 4 pounds from two days ago, but I also know most of it is water weight.

I lost control yesterday because of stress and lack of sleep. If that cake wasn't in the house, I wouldn't have had a chance to binge on it, but then I would have found something else in the house full of simple carbs - trail mix, pretzels, gingersnaps. There's always stuff around. The cake just made it easy. This morning I have no desire at all to dip into the cake (I have a small section left that was 'spare' that didn't have the mousse filling - the rest needed to be tossed).  The difference? I had sleep!

I've read numerous articles on how lack of sleep is a big reason people gain weight and I totally believe it. It's a big reason that I try really hard to get good sleep these days. It affects everything  - my mood, my decision process, my diet and my ability to talk myself into or out of exercise.

I posted about lack of sleep and links to obesity this morning on Facebook and a FB friend linked this article that was sent to her husband last week from a fitness group he's in:

It totally jives from my experience. And much of my married life I've been sleep deprived. I married a night owl, so if I wanted to spend any time with my husband, I needed to stay up, but that darn alarm clock would wake me in the morning, or a baby at night (both my babies were horrible sleepers for a very, very long time). I coped with sleep deprivation with eating crap/high sugar foods to make it through the day. That adds up. And it is a vicious circle like the article says. You then get wound up from the sugar of the day and then can't sleep well the next night. And then if the problem gets worse, obese people sleep worse because of their obesity. For me? I developed restless leg syndrome. It acts up when I'm sleep deprived. It won't let me sleep and then the next night I'm even more sleep deprived and then I have even worse restless leg syndrome symptoms.

That was why the very, very first thing I told my husband when I started losing weight this time was that I was not going to be staying up late and getting up early any more. I begged off the morning routine with our teen. I refuse to stay up and watch a movie with my husband until the wee hours any more. I just can't do it and function properly. And I think my husband finally believed me when I said I think it's what was causing so many problems - my wanting to please everyone by adapting to their schedules - eating when they were hungry, staying up with their hours just messed up my body's routine and as a result, I made worse decisions throughout the day and that led to weight gain.

So, when people ask, "How did you lose the weight." The first thing I say is, "I started getting enough sleep." And honestly, that is the biggest truth. The rest is so much easier if I'm not sleep deprived.

Stats for 4/23/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 172.6

1 comment:

  1. Huge, huge factor for me, too. Almost every time I have had epically bad grazing binges I can correlate to a combination of lack of sleep and stress, and even when my eating is perfect, my losses arent as good if I am not sleeping well. Go figure, but at least it is a pleasant fix ;)