[Article updated on 19/09/2023]
Sleep and weight are closely linked and I will even tell you that the quality of your sleep has an impact on your weight gain or loss.
Before reading on
I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.
The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.
Are you affected by sleep disorders? How many hours do you sleep per night? Do you wake up in good shape? Tired?
Can diet help you get quality sleep? Does poor quality sleep cause weight gain?
As a Dietitian Nutritionist I will answer all these questions today and give you advice so that you can find restful sleep which will allow you to find and keep the figure that suits you.
Quality sleep for a stable weight that suits you: explanations
Sleep is a natural need of the body, it is necessary for our proper functioning.
To begin with, know that it is important to control your waking time and bedtime, the recommendation is 7 hours/night on average.
You must also know how much sleep you need depending on your activity for the day to come.
It therefore comes down to knowing how to listen to yourself, to be attentive to yourself and your needs!
If there is a lack of sleep or too much accumulated fatigue, your sleep will be less effective, less restorative and the consequences will not take long to be felt, particularly in terms of the disruption of your eating sensations, increased compulsive snacking, and unnecessary pounds accumulated!
Your sleep is made up of 4 cycles which last between 90 and 120 minutes and repeat in a loop. There is the rest phase, the recovery phase, the dream phase, then the waking phase.
Quality sleep will allow your body to “recharge the batteries», to renew your energy.
This quality sleep will reduce disorders such as stress, anxiety and anxiety. Well rested, you will be less tense, less tired and therefore less likely to get carried away by your emotions and will be able to better manage these moments of stress when they present themselves to you.
The disorders such as stress, anxiety and anxiety will very often be directly reflected in your weight! Under the influence of emotion you could be tempted to snack in order to reassure yourself, to soothe yourself, a snack without hunger which will cause you to gain weight over time, kilos which you will not understand and which will be all the more harder to lose.
Eating to regain energy could also happen to you, energy that you could (in reality) only recover by sleeping. This is again eating for the wrong reasons, without hunger giving calories to your body that it does not need.
Ideal for quality sleep: my advice
- Going to bed before midnight means you get better quality sleep while respecting your internal clock.
- Have regular physical activity to tire yourself out and a balanced, varied diet (it’s not a myth, eating light in the evening allows you to sleep better).
- Capture and benefit from light during the day: like a plant, you need light to regulate your biological clock and your body. This helps synchronize your brain with the present. Don’t hesitate to get out in the sun every day, stay close to your windows, etc. Even if the weather is gray, daylight comes through and is essential.
- Prepare for sleep psychologically, think about going to bed before even heading to your room. Have a set time for sleep, rituals (brushing your teeth, changing into pajamas, turning on your lamp, etc.).
- Relax and breathe deeply, calmly before sinking. Another relaxation ritual before sleeping that can be very beneficial. Deep, abdominal breathing, eyes closed, try to clear your mind. Relax your muscles and do mental visualization exercises (counting sheep, imagining yourself in a calming place, imagining the sound of the sea, etc.) so that you don’t think about anything else.
To avoid !
- Intense physical activity in the evening is exciting and you will have more difficulty falling asleep afterwards.
- Baths or showers that are too hot at the end of the day.
- Screens in the evening, “blue lights” prevent the secretion of melatonin, the sleep hormone, prefer a good book which will allow you to fall asleep gently.
- A meal that is too heavy in the evening prevents you from sleeping well because digestion is too important, you may even feel a feeling of discomfort or even nausea! Prefer light meals, rich in fiber. Starchy foods are not excluded, you just need to learn to use the right amount of them.
Fatigue = useless cravings: how to get rid of them?
- Stretch, get some fresh air, get some fresh air when you feel the rush coming on, if hunger tugs at your stomach, then and only there, don’t hesitate to have a snack which will give you a boost.
- Splash your face with water, wash your hands.
- Drink water regularly, it’s the only essential drink you need. Think about the benefits of teas and herbal teas on your health which could help you find peaceful sleep (chamomile, linden, verbena, lemon balm, etc.).
- Avoid anything that is soda (very rich in sugar they are stimulants, they unbalance your blood sugar and therefore can induce cravings, consequently they will generate fatigue).
Here is the close link between sleep and your weight. You will have understood, when sleep is not good, your relationship with food can become disturbed and vice versa, when you eat too much, too rich without listening to yourself, it is your sleep which can suffer the consequences.
You can very quickly fall into a vicious circle where sleep and weight become complicated and are endured! Now it’s up to you, thanks to the advice I have given you, to free yourself from it and find peaceful sleep, a peaceful diet and a caring relationship with yourself.
We take a deep breath, 1, 2, 3… Here we go!