As a personal trainer and nutrition coach one of the most common complaints I hear from clients is how they all sleep like crap. They either wake periodically through the night, have trouble falling asleep or don’t have an enough time to really devote to sleeping.
Sleep is so important to all of us in order for us to be healthy and to thrive. But so often we fall asleep on a full belly of poor food choices, in front of The Late Show or by the glowing light of our computer or phone. All of these things can prevent us from having a good night sleep.
Finding the right amount of sleep is also very important. Those who sleep greater than 9 hours or less than 6 have higher body fat compared to those with a 7 to 8 hours sleep pattern. It is largely unknown however if too much sleep or a lack there of is the cause of a higher body fat composition or the result of poor sleep patterns. That is like asking what came first the chicken or the egg. Either way lack of sleep causes hormonal irregulations and a decrease in calorie usage in the body. Thus, creating an abundance of stored unused fat in the body. Being obese creates other issues like sleep apnea and overall physical discomfort when sleeping. All circling back to create greater issues in the quality of sleep a person gets.
In order to really move through the 5 stages of sleep you need to dedicate time, each stage takes about 90 minutes long. So that means we require about 7-8 hours of nightly slumber. In all the research, obesity and sleep or lack thereof go hand and hand. So make sleep a priority, start a soothing night time routine of soft lights and meditation, decrease late night coffee or alcohol and give ample time for food digestion before hitting the hay. Your body will thank you!
Stacie A. Zamperini M.Ed.