Whilst studying Nutrition, sleeping and the impact it has on our health was a subject that I found really quite interesting, so I continued my studies into Insomnia and the stresses and strains it put upon our bodies and health in general!

Personally I have always been a deep and heavy sleeper, until I had the babies! Then over the years I have good nights and bad nights I am sure we all do…but when having a full week or so of good sleep everything seems so much better and yes weight does seem change, so one heavy weekend of little sleep really can impact my weight gain! Or a week of sleeping poorly makes me hungry more so than normal!

It seems our bodies like to have a good sleep routine and being tired does also mean reaching out for something that is our comfort food, because it will make us feel better – right? That chocolate bar/cake etc. will help because we need a sugar hit…”I need the extra energy” is the normal reasoning to this because being tired means zero energy, which in the long run means making poor choices when it comes to food.

Have you maybe wondered why some foods make you feel sleepy while others give you a lift? Do you sometimes find yourself dozing off after a big meal or reaching for a sugary snack when you’re tired?
In addition to giving us nourishment, the things we eat and drink can pick us up or slow us down. Knowing how food and beverages affect the body can help keep you alert during the day and avoid the agony of sleeplessness at night.

This is where sleeping and eating properly come into balance, because if you are trying to lose weight you need sleep to raise your leptin levels, less sleep means more cortisol, which means weight gain. But cortisol is only part of the picture. Two hormones – leptin and ghrelin – work together to manage appetite. Leptin reduces hunger, while ghrelin promotes it.

I found this article by Dr Moseley interesting:
“Researchers have monitored hormonal levels and appetite in a group of 11 subjects during two 6-day periods. During the first six days, the volunteers received four hours of sleep during the night; during the second six days, they were allowed to sleep for twelve hours.Tests showed that sleep-deprived volunteers had 18% lower leptin levels and 28% higher ghrelin, associated with a 24% increase in self-reported hunger and a 23% increase in self-reported appetite. There was an overall increased preference for sweet, salty & starchy foods, with a 45% increase in salty food preference. “

Now this I can relate to as in February I had a virus of some sort, I had terrible cravings for sweet AND savoury (I am not normally a savoury person!) but during this time I wanted foods, the saltier the better! Not caving into the sweet was harder, so I made do with satsuma’s and the odd grape here and there. But I had not been sleeping well at all, probably because I hadn’t been doing much during the day, and feeling unwell does not help sleeping!

My weight was up and down considerably during those three weeks! Since then I had a good week then just a couple of weeks ago the Flu bug hit me, really badly!! And I slept on average 10 hours during the night – morning! And food – no thank you!! (Although Toast did become my best friend!) The sleep was good but not a lovely refreshing sleep at all!
I am really hoping now to get back a routine of good, refreshing sleep and a normal eating pattern!By getting enough sleep, your body will re-set its hormones to make better food choices.

We all worry about how much sleep we are getting, which doesn’t always help us to actually get to sleep in the long run! There maybe underlying problems to a poor sleep pattern, Insomnia is hard on those that suffer it!

There are ways of improving sleep and these can be small or big changes to your lifestyle.

If you would like help on how to have a better nights sleep I am also a qualified Insomnia Practitioner, or Holistic Nutrition and also advice for Vegetarian & Vegan & advice for those of you Age 50+ (because yes, after 50 years our body makes many changes and good nutrition along with exercise plays a vital part in staying healthy!) we can work on a plan that suits you because looking after mind, body and soul starts with you!

I can incorporate with your Indian Head Massage or Reiki session, that is no problem at all, just let me know at time of booking and we can work from there.

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