By Anita Senior
One factor you may not have considered is that all important beauty sleep.
Diet and exercise is the tried and tested combo for getting into great shape long-term but sleep could be the missing link in the secret to success.
Studies published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine show that the effects of SSD or short sleep duration, could be more damaging than expected when it comes to losing weight. Translation: Limited sleep can wreak havoc on our bodies.
Hormones leptin and ghrelin stimulate appetite and when we get less sleep these hormones tend to act up and can’t control our food cravings like they usually do.
The brain’s emotional attitude towards food changes with limited sleep, to a point where the idea of food becomes more pleasurable and enticing.
Studies show if you sleep less, you tend to eat more, snack more and are more inclined to go for high sugar and fatty foods to give them instant energy. In one particular study, participants ate as much as 550kcal/ 2300kj more a day when denied sleep. That’s over 25% of the average daily allowance!
The typically poor diet of short sleepers (less than 6 hours) means falling asleep and getting good quality rest is a chore in itself and so continues the vicious circle.
Our tips to break the cycle:
1.Try to get get 8 to 9 hours sleep per night to keep the cravings at bay.
2. Avoid caffeine, sugar and carbohydrates in the later half of the day.
3. Have a bath with lavender or spray some lavender oil in your room.
4. Drink camomile tea to wind down.
5. Meditate or simply take some slow deep breaths to relax your body.
6. Switch off the laptop and put down that mobile. Don’t bring electronics into the bedroom and avoid the temptation of scrolling the internet all night. Your body will thank you for it.
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