After a couple months of researching about sleep and thinking about a few years ago when I had many nights of poor quality sleep I tended to crave more junk food for the most part of the day and to make things worse, I didn´t have a lot of sweets and junk in the house so I went to the store to buy them. I ate a lot more and I didn´t feel like working out but at the end of the day I felt terrible.
Understanding the relationship between food and sleep can help you have better quality sleep and can make it easier for you to stick to a nutrition program.
Lack of sleep or poor quality sleep increase cravings specially for sweets and junk food, is you try to stick to a diet but you didn´t sleep well it will be harder for you to make the right choice at every meal. Now what you eat right before going to bed can cause sleep problems like insomnia or some digestive issues that won´t let you fall asleep. On the long run, you nutrition program or what you eat on a daily basis have an impact on your sleep patterns.
Our body needs nutrients to function properly but what we eat, how much we eat and when we eat they all have an impact on our health and the quality of our sleep, if you eat unhealthy foods before you go to bed your body doesn´t know what to do with them and it takes longer for your body to digest them plus you are not giving it the fuel it needs so it can´t recover and you won´t feel great the next day. Foods high in refine sugar and trans fats cause indigestion and make you feel bloated.
If you eat too much before going to sleep it can cause digestive issues, some people like myself have digestive problems like feeling bloated or constipated so having big meals at night can be counterproductive your body will be working a lot harder to digest all that food and you won´t be able to sleep, you may suffer of acid reflux or heartburn. This is the reason why I do intermittent fasting and skip dinner.
Drinking too much caffeine specially late in the afternoon or night you´ll find it harder to fall asleep most of us use coffee or any other form of caffeine to stay awake so that we can finish what we´re doing but in the long run this disturbs your sleep patterns and functions of your body.
Our body has an internal clock which keeps all functions scheduled and running on time, when you take caffeine to stay awake, you go to sleep and wake up at different hours your body goes out of rhythm, when you eat too much before bed, your body takes longer to digest that food and it´s working on that when it supposed to be sleeping and recovering.
Lack of sleep and even sleeping too much can alter your appetite, this is why if you didn´t get enough quality sleep you have cravings for sweets and unhealthy foods and you also eat more and that excess of food which is usually unhealthy makes you gain weight.
Poor quality sleep has negative impacts on your brain and hormones and this hormones, neurons and neurotransmitters are the responsible of you making bad choices you have less control over your impulses and will power.
When you lack sleep you less energy and it is harder to do everything you need to get done, you don´t feel like going to the gym so you don´t workout and comfort food is your first choice. If your concern is weight loss then you need to make sure that you sleep enough at least 7 hours of good quality and that your nutrition program is good.
With lack of sleep your metabolism slows down and two hormones get affected. Ghrelin is the hormone that increases appetite and leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating when you are full. With sleep deprivation ghrelin goes up and leptin goes down, so you eat more and you eat almost all the time. You have no control over this two so you keep eating and it takes longer for leptin to send you the message of being enough.
When you have some days of poor sleep in a row insulin levels are also affected, you become insulin resistant and your body is not able to use the food you eat properly specially carbohydrates.
As you can see; sleep, stress, nutrition, training and mindset are all connected and one change in one creates a change in the rest. It´s a cycle that never stops this is why I share with you tools for each of them and I urge you not to be perfect in any, it´s not about perfection it´s about finding tools you can use every day and develop habits that lead you to a better life without being so restrictive.
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