Sleep, Stress, and The Effects of Each on Your Metabolism

Women as well as men have to work hard these days to balance work, family, hobbies, social commitments and volunteer activities – the steady fast pace isn’t great for our metabolisms however.

First and foremost as a nation we aren’t getting enough sleep per day and this one factor can undermine all of your other efforts to increase your metabolism, burn more calories and keep you healthy. Too many tasks on our plate are the most often cause. While getting enough sleep improves metabolism, if you are regularly sleep deprived you will have less energy to perform even the easiest exercises.

Plus, the sleep deprived lower their own metabolism. Without enough strength to efficiently break down food, perform strength or interval training, breath deeper and so on, the metabolic rate is damaged and only one thing can help to give it a boost or get it back on track – more sleep!

Am I suggesting that you get fit by sleeping instead of exercising? Yes if you are currently not getting enough regular sleep and need to get back on track to healthy living. For the first few weeks try taking casual walks at the end of your day and ensure you rest for at least 7 hours every night. Make healthy living your priority and you will find that you will be rewarded by a happier body, a slimmer physique and a higher metabolism. Sleep is part of healthy lifestyle choices.

Are you an incurable insomniac? You’ll still need to get yourself into bed for at least seven hours per day. No reading, television watching or listening to MP3s through headphones either. This time must be reserved for resting. Eventually, once your body realizes that you mean business, you will start sleeping for most of those seven hours. Try any non-prescriptive tip you can find until you discover what’s keeping you up at night and vow never to do it again.

Some tips to get you started are: don’t eat late at night, drink 6-8 ounces of warm milk before bedtime, turn off that television, learn yoga or meditation, have a warm and fragrant bath before bedtime, don’t drink caffeine drinks after noon, don’t perform high aerobic exercises close to bedtime.

Over the years many people I’ve spoken to about the sleep and metabolism connection state that yoga and meditation helped them the most. Learning how to relax through either or both of these activities is also another of the key influence of your metabolism, namely dealing with stress.

Experts believe stress can send unwanted signals to our body, signals that lead to slower metabolism. Essentially, when the body is under constant stress, it releases stress hormones that flood the system. These stress hormones actually tell the body to create larger fat cells in the abdomen (belly fat). The result can be both increased weight and a slower metabolism.

Now that you see how stress can wreak havoc on your body as well as your metabolic rate, isn’t it time to change some things in your life? You’ll be happier, healthier and thinner for it in the end.