Did you know that poor sleep can impact your waistline?

That’s right. Fat tissue has it’s own biological clock that can be affected by lack of sleep.

For instance, our bodies tend to release enzymes that promote fat burn at times of high energy demand (such as early in the day) and that promote fat storage when there’s less energy demand (at night), following our natural circadian cycle.

However, when this cycle is disrupted, let’s say by staying up late watching Netflix, our ability to regulate appetite is also affected. We tend to crave high calories treats at a time in which the body is storing energy.

In addition, a poor night of sleep reduces levels of leptin (hormone that promotes satiety) and increases levels of ghrelin (hormone that stimulates hunger). That means you’ll be more likely to overeat.

Besides when you’re sleep deprived, you’ll also be moody and foggy. So there’s a good chance that you’ll look for comfort in tasty snacks and won’t have the willpower to resist cravings.

So here are a few things you can do to have a better night of sleep.

5 steps to better sleep

  • Move your body – Regular exercise may help you realign your internal body clock. Just avoid very intense exercise late in the evening because it may interfere with sleep.
  • Turn off electronic devices – Artificial light disrupt melatonin production which is responsible for deep sleep. Put away your phone and other devices at least 30 minutes before bed.
  • Clear your mind – A mind full of thoughts and worries creates stress, making harder to fall asleep. Journaling before bed is a good way to empty your mind.
  • Find relaxing activities – Activities that calm you down reduce the fight or flight response and contribute to a better night of sleep. Take a bath, meditate or read (paper book, no electronic devices!).
  • Make the room dark – A dark room induces melatonin production making it easier to fall and stay asleep. Turn off the lights, cover your windows and put your phone facing down.

BONUS TIP: Be careful with sleep ins – most people need to be awake around 16 hours before they feel sleepy. So if you wake up very late, you probably struggle falling asleep at night.

Keep in mind that a good night of sleep can make you feel good during the day. It also contribute to better food choices, more energy to work and exercise and better ability to manage stress. Seriously, sleep is a recovery rock star.