August 16, 2022 2 min read
When you think about losing weight, your plans probably start around exercise and diet. Am I right?
Then you can read for days about the latest and greatest, newest, sexiest diet. Carnivore, Keto, Paleo, Whole 30, Atkins, Mediterranean . . . and on, and on, and on.
But, did you know that the quality and duration of your sleep has a greater effect on your fat storage than diet or exercise? Furthermore, sleep is the most important tool that you have for sticking to your diet and exercise plan.
The chemicals in your brain that control your appetite are all adjusted and set during sleep. The balance of these chemicals not only determine how hungry you will be the next day, but also what you will be hungry for (cravings). The worse your sleep, the more you'll crave sugar and fat. That's why America came up with the doughnut during the industrial revolution (when time became money). The chemicals in your brain also dictate something called "fuel partitioning" which describes what your body is going to do with the calories that you eat that day. When you don't sleep well, or enough, your brain thinks you might be in danger or headed into a famine. So, it will tell your cells to store as many calories as possible as fat that day--to give you resources for the danger you are in.
As if all of that isn't bad enough, poor sleep impairs an area of your brain called the prefrontal cortex. This is the part of our brain that not only allows us to plan, but also it's where we get our "will power". So, when you don't get enough sleep, not only are you going to crave the wrong foods, your will power to stay on track will be impaired, so you are way more likely to eat the doughnut and skip the the gym.
Unfortunately, this all happens REALLY fast (as in one night of 6 instead of 8 hours of sleep). Luckily, it works just as fast the other way: get one great night of sleep, and reap the benefits the very next day.
So, if you care about how much fat your carrying around, and especially if you are trying to lose fat, you would be wise to focus first on sleep. There is a lot that goes into getting great sleep, but one non-negotiable principle is making sure you have all the right nutrients in your brain to create the right chemicals at the right time.
I have designed an all-natural nutritional sleep supplement if you'd like to get a jump on optimizing your sleep. You can learn more about it below.