Sleep and Metabolism
Here's an interesting article on sleep and fat burning - Is Sleep the Key to Restoring Metabolic Potential?
- It is not uncommon for people to brag they only require a few hours of sleep. However, in order for them to stay functional, it requires large amounts of coffee along with sugar in the form of bagels, cookies, pastries, etc.
- Weight issues do not come from a genetic defect that causes you to overeat, but rather derive from a multitude of overlapping factors including sleep issues. Lifestyle choices like sleep have the power to alter key hormones involved in metabolism.
- In subjects who slept less than 7 to 8 hours a significant increase was noted in body mass index (BMI) and appetite. These short sleepers ate significantly more and weighed more than those people who slept longer.
- One of the most effective tools for fat loss is the avoidance of food for at least 10-14 hours every night.
So, lets talk sleep schedules and fat loss, or lack thereof. Do you get 8+ hours of sleep per night? If not, do you feel it has a negative impact on your energy, mood, and food choices? Have you ever done shift work? How did it impact your eating habits? How long do you go without eating overnight?
I'm a weird sleeper on a slightly weird schedule. I used to be a weird sleeper on an extremely weird schedule. I work in television, which is a 24 hour operation. I worked overnights for years, or sometimes 3pm to 3am, or, most hated, 4am to noon. There is no way to get a good night's sleep when you have to wake up at 2 in the morning. I actually did ok on overnights, but I got weird about scurrying home vampire-style before the sunlight hit me. If the sunlight hit me, I was awake and I'd be lucky to sleep at all that day. If could scoot home in the shadows and get into my chilly, blacked out room with the white noise machine, I'd go right out.
When I was working overnights, my carb consumption was astronomical. Other than sleep, nothing will make a frazzled, exhausted brain happier at 3am than a bagel with cream cheese. I would eat to stay awake and to boost my mood. Not good!
Currently I work evenings. I stop eating at 5:30 or 6:30pm and usually go 12-16 hours without food. I get off work at 11:30pm and try really hard to be in bed by midnight. My issue, if it's an issue, is that I'm always up by 6:00am. Always. My eyes spring open. So, there I am with 6 hours of sleep. I know that's not enough, and if I run on it for a few days I can really feel that it's not enough. I get sleepy during the day, my food decisions become really iffy, and my workouts suffer. My solution has been to catch an hour or two nap after lunch. I love the luxury of being able to take a siesta but it's become a running joke. If I'm cranky, people will ask if I missed my nap. Or I'll try to get out of all kinds of things by saying, "I can't. That's my naptime." LOL
Splitting my sleep probably isn't ideal but I feel really good. Certainly I'm better off with my consistent 8+ hours of quality sleep every day than a lot of people who exist on less. Plus, I learned that it used to be a normal human thing. People would have something called "first and second sleep." I saw this fascinating BBC article on segmented sleeping patterns. Does anybody else have a split sleep pattern? I used to do it on overnights too, catch 4-5 hours in the morning, wake up for much of the day, and then hopefully catch another 3 hours later in the evening. I also remember as a teenager waking up at 2:00-3:00am skulking around for a few hours and then going back to bed before the sun came up.
I've never had huge weight problems related to shift work but there was definitely a difference in body comp. I carried more body fat and less muscle on sleep-deprived overnights when I was missing workouts and eating carbs to stay awake.
This is a thread from my Happy Eaters site. You can see more of the conversation here.
Posted by skwigg
at 2:37 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, 21 March 2012 8:40 AM CDT