When training your program matters, your diet matters and a multitude of other factors matter but nothing can rival the importance of sleep.Sleep is something we all too often neglect, this often leads to excessive stress on our immune system, nervous system, brain function, and gains. When we fall out of line with something known as our circadian rhythm we can cause a cascade of physiological detrimental events to occur within our bodies New evidence has shown that sleep is essential for helping maintain mood, memory and cognitive performance. New research also links sleep with the normal function of the endocrine and immune systems. Serious health issues such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and depression have also been linked to quality of sleep.Over the course of this blog we will look into the effects of sleep deprivation on our appetite regulation but first we will talk about what a circadian rhythm is.
What Exactly is a Circadian Rhythm
Circadian rhythm is essentially our biological clock. Circadian rhythm refers to changes in body temperature, hormone levels and sleep, this all happens over a 24 hour period. Circadian rhythm is driven by our brain's biological clock. Our circadian system keeps us awake during daylight, and helps us sleep as as the sun sets.Sleep quality and restfulness are working optimally when our sleep schedule is synchronized to our internal circadian rhythm. For thousands of years our ancestors followed this sleep wake cycle, waking with the sun and sleeping as light faded to darkness. It has only been within the last hundred years that we’ve been bombarded with modern distractions such as fluorescent lighting, smart phones, tablets, TVs and so on. The new exposure to technology has effectively thrown off our internal biological clocks. Because our bodies can’t tell the difference between sunlight and artificial light, we resultantly influence our circadian rhythm and throw it into ” A synchronization”, meaning we completely mess up our internal biological clock. Once this happens we set ourselves up for a host of problems. Today we will touch on one of the major problems and in other blogs we will continue talking about the problems of falling out of line with your circadian rhythm.
Leptin and Ghrelin
Leptin and ghrelin are the hormones responsible for making us feel hungry and letting us know when we are satiated aka full. When we do not sleep properly the regulation of these two hormones gets thrown out of whack leading us to feel increased hunger which in turn leads to overeating. So how does this work ? well these hormones are linked to our bodies natural circadian rhythm. let's assume you decide to binge watch Netflix from 9pm-1am (Game of Thrones has done this to us all) your body doesn't know you are looking at a laptop from an evolutionary standpoint your body just assumes shit i guess the sun’s up time to eat. This leads to the secretion of Leptin which will make you head for the cupboards and fridge to binge eat unhealthy foods. When you finally do fall asleep your body is lost as to what is going on and does not secrete leptin ( the hormone that tells us we are full) nearly as much as it should. There for you feel hungry throughout the entire day and night. Read Me for More Detail about Circadian Rhythm and hormones
How to stay in line with your natural biological clock
- limit screen use in the evening and never go onto your phone well in bed
- stop eating between 7pm-9pm and don't eat again until the morning
- if you are not intermittent fasting do not skip breakfast always eat breakfast even if it is just a quick shake
- if you are going to eat past the hours of 9pm try to keep it as healthy as possible and ensure the food you are eating has a low glycemic index. ( vegetables, nuts, eggs, organic peanut butter all good options)
- buy a pair of Blue Light Blocking Glasses