Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Week 9 of the 12 week Challenge!

So I have been saving this challenge for a week such as this. I am very busy this week, as you followers will know since I am posting Sunday's challenge on Tuesday :/ Unfortunately, my sleep schedule is all out of whack. I am tossing, turning, dreaming... feeling like I did not sleep at all. Can anybody empathize? It is awful. I don't feel rested. 
Consequently, this can be detrimental to your weight loss and more importantly your health. Not only do you feel unrested, sore, achy... the list goes on, it messes with your serotonin levels and hormone production, which often occur during sleep. It is kind of a double edged sword. First you produce hormones while you sleep. Serotonin is one of them. Serotonin is directly connected with sleep. Low levels can equal restless nights. If you are not sleeping well, you will not produce as much serotonin to keep your sleep cycles healthy and your mood up. 

Loosing sleep can also cause your leptin levels to lower, causing you to feel unsatisfied after a meal. Because leptin works closely with ghrelin, lower leptin will cause your ghrelin levels to rise, which will stimulate your appetite. Ugh! 

So do see the problem with not getting enough sleep or quality sleep?

Too much sleep can also be detrimental causing you to feel sluggish and unmotivated. A healthy night of sleep is different for everyone. But the general recommendations are between 7-9 hours. I need 8 hours minimum. I cannot go several days in a row with less than that. I get cranky and hungry and not so much fun to be around. :( 

So your challenge is simple. Well, maybe not... Get enough quality sleep. If that means shutting the TV off earlier... do it. You already should be avoiding soda, but if you are drinking tea or coffee, cut down on it, especially after 5PM. Try an evening shower to relax you, or a work out a few hours before bed. If you are getting enough quality sleep, then yay! :) Keep it up! If not, good luck and good night! 

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