Right after I finished lunch yesterday I could NOT keep my eyes open. I was looking through a magazine and I felt so tired and a bit disoriented. I think with Jeremy being off, my body was saying, “Hey girl, it’s time to take a load off, SLEEP NOW.” I laid down on the couch and the next thing I knew, Luke was walking through the door, home from school. I had slept like a rock for 2 hours. This got me thinking about how important sleep is and I wanted to share some things I have learned over the past few years about it.
About the hormones Leptin and Ghrelin.
“Sleep affects the levels of several hormones in your body. Two hormones that play an important role in stimulating and suppressing your appetite are leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is produced by your body’s fat cells and is responsible for suppressing hunger. Ghrelin is released by your stomach, and stimulates your appetite. Lack of sleep lowers the levels of leptin in your blood and heightens the levels of ghrelin, which results in an increase of appetite. The reverse is also true: getting enough sleep decreases hunger and will therefore help you lose weight.” fitday.com
“Getting eight hours of sleep at night helps you lower the cortisol levels in your blood, while lack of sleep raises your cortisol levels. Higher levels of cortisol lead to a lower metabolism. Breaking protein down into glucose is stimulated by cortisol. If you have too much glucose in your body, it will get stored as fat. On top of this, cortisol interferes with your body’s ability to build muscle mass. If you are trying to lose weight, you want to make sure that you have low cortisol levels in your blood. Getting enough sleep helps you do just that.” – fitday.com
I have also read that the body views lack of sleep as stress and therefore it produces cortisol.
“Although most people get around five to seven hours of sleep a night, experts caution that number should really be somewhere closer to eight hours of sleep. ‘The problem with being chronically sleep-deprived (as in, missing one to two hours nightly) is that the body perceives the sleep loss as a “stress,” which increases levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol (which interferes with insulin function),’ says Shawn Talbott, nutritional biochemist and author of “The Secret Vigor: How to Overcome Burnout, Restore Biochemical Balance, and Reclaim Your Natural Energy.” – Shape Magazine
Sleep is so incredibly important. One of the things I have learned how to do is to distinguish whether or not I am hungry, or just need a nap. Most of the time I am just in dire need of a nap. Being up from 5am until 9pm or later is a LONG day. I need a little rest in the middle and so do most people. Unfortunately, not everyone CAN. That’s why making sleep a priority is really crucial in weight loss, as well as maintaining it. In today’s society, we are encouraged to sleep less and work more. There are never enough hours in the day. That kind of pressure takes a toll on our nervous systems, making us susceptible to a myriad of health problems. I would really encourage you to take the steps to make sleep a priority in you life. It can make all the difference.
I was definitely feeling my lack of sleep from the get-go yesterday. I DID NOT want to get up. I must have sat on the bed for ten minutes before I finally made myself get up and get going. I know that if I don’t get a head start on everyone, it sets a negative tone for the day. I was trying to answer an e-mail at 5:30 am yesterday and trying to put my thoughts together was like a car that won’t start. Finally my first cup of coffee kicked in and I was able to finish it, hopefully intelligently. By the end of my quiet time, I had drank 3 cups of joe.
Breakfast was my usual and then it was time to hit the gym. I planned an hour of elliptical work and thanks to the latest Fitness Magazine, it went by pretty quickly. I wore my heart rate monitor just so I could make sure I wasn’t phoning it in. When I run, I have no problem getting my heart rate up, but the elliptical takes a little more effort.
505 calories burned per machine vs. 406 per HRM
This would be proof that you shouldn’t really pay any attention to how many calories the machine says you have burned. I even entered my age and weight.
By the time I got home it was after 12pm and I was super hungry! I snacked on an apple and a few almonds (7 to be exact) while I was figuring out what I wanted.
Quorn Turk’y Burger w/ reduced-fat Colby Jack Cheese Panini on an Orowheat SandwichThin, 2 Cuties, blueberries and baby carrots.
I intended on going to Ulta right after lunch but proceeded to take a coma nap for 2 hours. I had two coupons that I needed to use by Friday so I went when I got up instead. Ulta is like the Mother Ship calling me home. Every time I walk in there I hear angels singing. I walked around smelling all the delicious scents and looking at make-up. It was glorious! Thanks to my coupons, I got some really good stuff. I went in for foundation primer and a large round brush. I got those things plus a free tube of lipstick and a free bottle of conditioner. Bonus: the brush I wanted was half off. HOLLA! Side note: I totally recommend Ulta’s foundation primer called Fabulous Face. It is half as much as the other primers and works so well. I swear when I put it on, it looks like someone has gone over my skin with Photoshop. It smooth’s fine lines & evens skin tone. I wear it everyday whether I wear make-up or not.
I needed a little pick me up so I stopped by a little piece of heaven on earth.
Grande Non-Fat Misto – 2 Splendas
Dinner was another recipe similar to the one I made a few weeks ago.
I made Crock Pot Sante Fe Chicken from the blog Iowa Girl Eats. Can you tell I was craving Mexican Food last week when I made the menu for this week? I served the mixture on white corn tortillas with reduced fat shredded cheese, a little bit of light sour cream, & fat free refried beans. I have a secret love affair with my crock pot. I love throwing together everything in the morning when I am at my best; before the exhaustion of the day takes over and I just throw in the towel. My poor kids have eaten so many sandwiches and bowls of cereal for dinner. What am I talking about, poor kids. They would live on cereal and sandwiches if I let them!
This dish was good. I think I like the other recipe better. The chicken was a bit bland and sort of dry for some reason. I think I should have made sure it was submerged in order to better soak up moisture and seasoning. It made a lot and to that I am thankful. I love to cook, but I don’t necessarily like to cook at dinner time.
Trixie liked it!
Look at the desperation in those eyes!
For dessert I had two pieces of Jamie’s Bread that I made yesterday.
J and I are going to see The Hunger Games today and I couldn’t be MORE excited! I hope that we can eat at Mimi’s but if not a cupcake will do!
Sleep and Weight Gain – WebMD
How to reduce cortisol and restore sleep – ehow.com