How do you bounce back after a rough night?
Adequate sleep is vital for so many reasons–cognitive functions, a healthy immune system, staying energetic, and so much more. Constant exhaustion can actually cause you to gain weight.
How it all works:
When your body is tired, your stress levels are elevated. This causes an increase in the production of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol, the body’s fight-or-flight stress hormones. The adrenal glands secrete these, which send sugar into your bloodstream for a quick rush of energy. After this rush, cortisol sparks ravenous hunger cravings for carbohydrates and fat. You may have noticed that when you’re feeling tired or stressed, you often reach for food to make you “feel better.” Why? Because there’s a conscious feeling we have when we’re hungry; then you eat something, and you feel satisfied and content. So, the tendency is to reach for food (especially carbs and sugar) to help you “feel content.” This cycle sets you up for gaining weight.
How to deal:
We all have a bad night’s sleep from time to time, so when you do, just prepare yourself the next day. Know what’s happening with your body and take extra care of yourself. Instead of reaching for sugar/carbs or fat, reach for strong sources of protein like fish, a lean hamburger patty, or eggs something that will really hold you over until your next meal. Also, take some time that evening to slow down and rest. Maybe you’ll need to cancel your plans or skip watching your favorite television show. Either way, take care of yourself, relax, and get some quiet time so you can ensure a better night’s sleep the next night.