Disclosure: This post is part of a series on better sleep, sponsored by our client Sleep Number. All opinions expressed are our own.
Most of us know that lack of sleep is not a good thing. However, quite a lot of us underestimate the impact that lack of sleep can have on our health and wellness, our goals in the gym, and our overall quality of life.
For real. Sleep is THAT big of a deal. It affects EVERYTHING for the better when you are getting good, quality sleep and enough of it, and it affects everything in a BAD WAY when you don’t get enough sleep or your quality of sleep is on the sucktastic side.
Today, let’s talk about how a lack of sleep and/or poor quality sleep affects your DIET. And by “diet”, we simply mean, what you eat during the day. I talked about this in a Facebook Live session recently (you’ll see the video included here below) and we had an overwhelming number of emails and private messages after that session saying “This is ME!! I need help!!”– most of the folks tuning in to our Facebook Live session, and in fact, over 82% of our FitFluential Community when polled, stated that they 1) have sleep problems and 2) don’t think they can fix the problem- because it’s been going on so long.
I can tell you this much. Yes, you can. And we are going to share a whole lot of information and guidance here on FitFluential.com to help you. As someone who USED TO have major issues falling asleep and who USED TO use Excedrin PM literally EVERY NIGHT to fall asleep for the better part of 7 years, I can testify that greatly improving your sleep is DOABLE. It requires some effort, but — guess what- not a lot of money– and it’s so worth it. MOST of the things we’ll recommend to you in this series with our sponsor (Sleep Number beds, the best most dreamy beds on the planet- I sleep in one every night and it is HEAVEN. Heaven. My words. I dare you to buy one and NOT come back to me saying I am right. I promise you. Life changing sleep. I digress.) — they are LIFESTYLE changes. Not a pill. Not a gadget to buy online at $199.99 in three easy payments. These are LIFESTYLE tips that any of you can implement immediately and just watch– the cumulative effect it will have on your sleep will impress you.
Let’s just be real. Think about a typical experience when you perhaps didn’t sleep but a couple hours all night. You wake up late, and you automatically feel RUSHED. You likely may skip breakfast because you are rushing to work, or wherever you need to be. Is it a stretch to think you might head through the Starbucks drive-through? Ask for a quadruple espresso and extra sugar- then, heck, you’ve already blown your breakfast, so why not treat yourself to a big 500+ calorie MUFFIN or scone? You deserve it. You didn’t sleep. So- fast forward to the office, you have already pounded another 3 cappuccinos, or maybe Red Bull is your preferred pick-me-up– you are doing anything to get feeling alive right? And it’s likely that because you are dragging…you are finding it hard to concentrate. You find yourself easily distracted and unable to focus. You find that those cupcakes your friend brought in the office for someone’s birthday are calling to you. You decide to make a joke about getting a sugar buzz and you go for it. At lunch, you hit the drive through because– you don’t have a lot of time. You’ve been dragging so much through the morning you need to use the afternoon to catch up. You get a cheeseburger combo with a huge soda– again, to pick yourself up and, well, just anything to get you FEELING good again.
The problem is– none of these choices– and tons of extra calories and sugar and saturated fat are helping. They aren’t helping you focus any more — they are only creating a blood sugar and energy SURGE followed by a crash, and then, because it’s highly likely you may continue to eat more carbs and sugary snacks with more caffeine/coffee/Red Bull etc., you will only perpetuate the cycle. You won’t feel full. You won’t have sustainable energy- and guess what– all that crappy food (HINT– we’ll talk about this in our next post!) actually contributes to you getting POOR QUALITY SLEEP!! YUP. Research shows that sugary, processed foods and excessive caffeine – prevent sleep. Go figure.
Folks– tune in below and learn a bit more about this cycle and you’ll see why ~~ if you have fitness goals and want better health, YOU HAVE TO start with getting better sleep. It affects EVERYTHING!!
Let me close with a quote from this article at Medical News Today. Researcher Haya Al Khatib stated . “Our results,” she continues, “also suggest that increasing time in bed for an hour or so longer may lead to healthier food choices. This further strengthens the link between short sleep and poorer-quality diets that has already been observed by previous studies.” You can read the article here: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320566.php
Have we struck a chord here ladies? Are you picking up what we are throwing down? What questions do you have about the links between sleep and diet? Let us know how we can help you get better SLEEP NOW!!