Author: Shannon Boyce
You’re falling asleep at your desk and you’ve felt sluggish all day long. The solution? A quick pick me up. An extra large coffee and a couple of donuts will surely give you that burst of energy you need to get through the day! Then later on, you skip your workout because you’re so tired. Sound familiar? This is one unhealthy cycle that it is easy to fall into.
There are always reasons to eat poorly and live a sedentary lifestyle…but when you’re tired you are more likely to do it. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation is a common cause of weight gain and decreased fitness levels. Why does it happen and how can you avoid it? Let’s find out.
How Does Lack of Sleep Compromise Health?
It not too hard to connect the dots between lack of sleep and poor lifestyle choices. Just think of it this way: when you’re tired, you tend to opt for convenience. That means pre-packaged foods, take out menus, and evenings spent in front of the TV. This is a very bag habit to fall into. Even if you have started making positive changes to your diet and fitness routine, being tired can make it harder to stick with those changes. Why does this happen? When your body is tired, your brain goes into autopilot, making you more likely to reach for that bag of potato chips.
Continuing to make these poor choices can lead to weight gain, improper nutrition, low fitness levels, and lower energy levels. In addition, sleep deprivation causes your metabolism to stop functioning properly, further adding to the problem. Unfortunately, with a good chunk of us not getting enough sleep each night (thanks to work, stress, and responsibilities at home) this issue is becoming more and more problematic. So, what can be done about it?
How to Avoid Sleep Deprivation
It sounds easy enough to say: get more sleep. But that isn’t necessarily possible for everyone. You’ve got that long commute to and from work each day, have errands to run, and oh yeah, don’t forget to email that report after you get home! The list goes on and on. Getting more sleep isn’t always realistic, even if it is necessary. What should you do? Focus on the quality of sleep, instead. Getting a few hours of quality sleep can help you feel more rested, boost your metabolism, and make you less likely to indulge in those poor health and fitness choices.
Things that help improve sleep quality include: skipping caffeine in the afternoon and exercising for at least a half hour during the day. Remember, you don’t want to work out right before bed, as it will give you a rush of energy, keeping you up longer.
Sleep deprivation is a serious thing. Not only does it affect your energy levels, but it can also lead to weight gain and poor fitness. Make a change by concentrating on quality if you don’t have time for quantity. You’ll feel the difference when you wake up in the morning.