SportStars Magazine

Can Eating Habits be Affected by Sleep?

Can Eating Habits be Affected by Sleep? Eating Habits Affect Sleeping Habits

Sleep is a crucial part of helping an athlete perform his or her best, wouldn’t you agree?

Getting adequate sleep can lead to improvements in speed, accuracy, energy levels, alertness and mood. It can also help you have faster reaction times.

If you’re not getting enough sleep, you increase your chances of experiencing fatigue, poor focus, slower recovery time, increased irritability, and a compromised immune system.

Get Your Sleep!

Most teenagers need between 8-10 hours of sleep each night, and they typically get about 7.

Our eating habits can be affected by sleep.

There are two hunger hormones, ghrelin and leptin, that are directly affected.

Ghrelin signals your brain that it’s time to eat. If you are sleep-deprived, your body makes more ghrelin.

Leptin lets your brain know when you are full. If you are sleep-deprived, leptin levels decrease so that you don’t feel satisfied when you eat your normal amount of food.

Lack of Sleep Can Affect Your Weight

Overall, lack of adequate sleep signals your brain to eat more than your body actually needs. And that can affect how you feel throughout the day. It also affects your ability to reach and maintain a healthy weight.

Most people think about preparing for sleep right before they go to bed. However, if you implement strategies all throughout the day, you’ll have a better chance at getting a good night’s rest.

7 Sleep Strategy Tips

Sleep schedule. Wake up at a consistent time, even on weekends.

Hydrate. Drink water throughout the day so you don’t wake up thirsty in the middle of the night. Also, know what time in the evening to stop drinking water so that you can avoid numerous nighttime bathroom trips.

Fuel your body. Eat multiple meals and snacks throughout the day to keep blood sugar and energy levels in a healthy range. This will also help you avoid overeating late in the day, which can interrupt sleep.

Caffeine cut-off. The body takes about 6-8 hours to metabolize caffeine, so if you eat or drink it too close to bedtime, it could postpone your sleep. This includes coffee, energy drinks, tea, soda and chocolate.

Journal. Help your mind settle down by writing your thoughts and concerns before you go to sleep. Process the day and make to-do lists for tomorrow.

Bedtime routine. Create a relaxing routine to help your body and mind get ready to sleep, including shutting down your screen at least an hour before bed.

Environment. Make sure your room is dark, cool, quiet and comfortable. Get new pillows, earplugs, eye mask as needed.

Maximize your athletic performance by seeking personalized advice from Nutrition Coach Jill Daniels, MS, RD, CSSD, Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.  www.JillDanielsRD.com

Photo: Eating Habits Affect Sleeping Habits … longevitytimes.com

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