Weight Loss Support - AHA! Why lack of sleep is making me FAT!!

06-23-2011, 03:16 AM
So...these past few weeks have been brutal on my diet. I have found myself discouraged as I cannot stop craving junk food and it is wrecking my eating plan. Over the last few months, I have been taking pills with one not being nice to me- it gives me panic attacks/hallucinations, but works well for the pain. In any case, it means that I have been getting less than 3 hours sleep some nights and hardly more than 1 1/2 straight sleep in any night. It doesn't help that I suffer from insomnia and have from I was a child.

I just realized today just how bad sleep deprivation can be on your body and I have read that it can cause increased eating and poor choice of foods. So I guess that if I start to sleep again, my eating habits will improve. I find that if I eat dinner at 5 pm, by 3am, I am starving! It took my BFF who is a doctor to point out that by 3 am, my body in its awake state, realizes that i have not eaten for 7 HOURS, so it will start to clamour for food.

They say with poor sleep comes poor decision-making, and I find myself making silly mistakes such as refunding a customer $251 (full order) instead of $18 and this is AFTER shipping the goods from Jamaica to the USA!. Suppose the customer was not a good man? Can you imagine?

Does anyone else have bad/poor sleep patterns that are wrecking your diet?

06-23-2011, 03:57 AM
I definitely have to work hard to keep my sleeping patterns normal. Lack of sleep is one of the biggest hindrances to my food and exercise plans.

When I don't get enough sleep: I'm hungrier, moodier, physically more tired...all of those things lead to up to not functioning properly, wanting to eat more, and wanting to skip out on my work outs.

Getting enough sleep is near the top for me in making sure the rest of my day is an On Plan day.

06-23-2011, 04:14 AM
Poor sleep was a big factor in my weight gain, which only added to the problem. I have sleep apnea and have to use a CPAP in order to get good quality sleep. I have learned that good sleep habits, sleep hygiene, is really important for me to keep track with losing weight.

But knowing all that isn't helping me to fall asleep. I've got a really stress-filled life and until I can learn to manage that, I won't be going to bed early enough and not getting my eight hours of sleep consistently. I know that when I don't sleep more than six hours a night, I overeat in order to get extra energy to keep me awake. Plus, I don't have the energy to exercise at all.

The most important thing I do is to make sure I wake up at the same time every morning. That sets my circadean rhythms and gets my body into the right cycle to get me going to bed at the right time every night. I have found that I need to avoid aerobic exercise any time past 5 pm because it keeps me up, but weight training and Pilates are great a couple hours before bed because that sort of exercise taxes my muscles, drops my body temperature and makes me sleepy.

You're not alone, Kim! Good luck!

06-23-2011, 06:16 AM
I couldn't even begin to think about losing weight until I got my sleep disorders (severe circadian rhythm disorders) under control. Before that, I was on a 25 hour schedule so that I woke up at a different time every day and had absolutely no routines regarding mealtimes or anything else. Between that and the sleep deprivation making me medical condition worse (pain in particular goes through the roof when I've missed more sleep than usual), it's not surprising that the weight piled on. I found the methods on this website (http://insearchofmornings.wordpress.com/) to work very well indeed, and my sleep has been a lot better for the last year or so. It's still not all that good, I don't wake up feeling refreshed for instance and I'm going through a bad patch at the moment, but at least I sleep at normal times now and rarely have to lie awake for hours trying to sleep. My blood sugar seems to be better when I'm sleeping better as well.

Kimmieval, does your doctor know about the problems you're having with that medication? I have no idea how severe your pain is nor what other options you have left for treating it, but in most situations that would be considered an intolerable level of side effects. The sleep deprivation alone will have a severe impact on your pain, and I'm worried that you could lose your job or crash your car (if you drive) or do something else dangerous due to sleep deprivation or hallucinations.

Although I'm not surprised that you're starving ten hours after your evening meal. Eat something before you go to bed, and read up on how hypoglycaemia affects sleep.

06-23-2011, 08:07 AM
Lack of sleep is very associated with insulin resistance and blood sugar problems. I read a study that said after a few days of sleep deprivation (getting 4 hours a sleep a night), healthy people started to turn pre-diabetic. And your body starts craving sweets for extra energy when sleep deprived. It's a lose-lose situation.

My circadian rhythm is really screwed up and almost backwards due to PTSD hyper-alertness, but I still manage about 8 hour a night, and my weight loss has been decent. But I'd probably be more successful with losing weight with a more normal sleeping pattern.

06-23-2011, 09:26 AM
Bad sleep led to my weight gain definitely. Getting that in order changed my life in about every single aspect. When people ask the #1 thing important to a changing a lifestyle to become more fit and healthy, I say SLEEP.

06-26-2011, 02:16 AM
I am trying to improve on my sleep...one doc says he believes I have impaired adrenal functions, so at times my body seems to feel like it is under constant stress even when nothing is stressing me. IN any case, I am trying to take extra supplements to help me sleep, the bad thing is that some of the supplements might interact with my meds. I think my body is generally off balance, as I am experiencing my menstrual cycle again- 3 times in about 45 days and each time it last for between 5-7 days.

I simply cannot keep up- between lack of sleep, an energetic two-year old nephew for whom I have dual provider role, more pains and aches than an old person and not irregular and heavy cycles, I am wiped out. I take vitamin B complex, extra vit B2, Vitamin D 2000 mg a day and immune system booster, yet I am craving all this "bad" food. I read up on the website http://www.naturopathyworks.com/pages/cravings.php and I am eating organ meats (liver, calalloo which is like spinach, cheese etc). Just so frustrated some days. Sorry for the rant, but I have been soo good and then without warning, I feel like I am derailing my success!

06-26-2011, 02:18 AM
...did I mention that my gynae thinks I have PCOS altho my primary is not so convinced? In any event, I tried metformin for about 9 months but it did not contribute to weight loss so I had to tackle the weight loss on my own...boy, weight loss is so much more than simply eating too much, it is a combination of so many factors that impact our health

06-26-2011, 02:23 AM
Esofia...I have undifferentiated connective tissue disease with mutliple symptoms and at times, excruciating joint pains, they also claim I have Fibromyalgia (my family has a history of ME as they call it in England), so some days I cannot even come out of bed, which means little exercise or no exercise during those periods. The medicines, PLaquenil and Neurontin, help me significantly along with some pain meds in having normal days. I did try Lyrica (the so called wonder drug for Fibro), but I put on about 10 lbs in ONE month and had suicidal thoughts- needless to say I got off that lickety split! My meds have slowed my weight loss journey but I refuse to let them stop it!

I do try to eat before bed, but after eating at 10 pm, I am still awake at 4 am and hungry at that point ...lol...I normally eat something in the 150 calorie range to temper the hunger

06-26-2011, 12:49 PM
Sleep plays a big role in weight loss. Without proper sleep, the rest of the body seems to just not function properly.