Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sleep ‘Til Noon: Rule 13 To Control Your Appetite

You are an adult. You can do anything you want. Right? So, why can’t you sleep until noon?

Kids? Job? Too much to do? Too bright outside? Too noisy in the street? Whew. Excuses, excuses.

I thought you were tired. Missing out on sleep. Never enough hours in the day. So sleep. Sleep until it’s noon. Maybe even a little after. Catch up.

But, don’t just catch up. Get ahead of it. Sleep ‘til noon every day.

Aaaahhh. Doesn’t that feel better? And lighter?

Lighter? Yup.

Sleep deprivation makes you hungry.
As it turns out lack of sleep screws up a lot of things in your body. Most of it not only impacts your weight, it makes you hungry.

Lack of sleep creates havoc with your blood sugar control – a known factor for increasing your weight. It also causes bodily and mental stress, which makes you release stress hormones – which also makes you hungry. Which makes you gain weight.

That stunning combination of lack of blood sugar control and stress adds up to hunger at inopportune times (is there a good time?).

When you start your day with too little sleep, your body is still tired. So you reach for something to perk you up – coffee, diet coke? ‘Course that just creates more caffeine-induced stress hormones and a quick rise and quicker crash of your blood sugar.

All of which makes you drag your bones, so you double down with an expresso, Red Bull, or whatever is your standard pick-me-up. (Ever reach for a sugar-coated donut, or a Snickers?) And the up-then-down energy swings start all over again.

Plus you have the munchies all day long. Then you go to bed tired, stuffing yourself between the sheets where you had gotten up before the morning was new. And, despite your tiredness you don’t sleep all that well. Then you get up before you are rested… Repeat performance the next day. The next. And the next.

Sleep more, weigh less. Sleep less, weigh more.
What you sow, with lack of sleep, you reap in a harvest of extra pounds.

So, isn’t it just better to sleep ‘til noon?
More sleep = Less weight. Perfect tradeoff.

If you want to control your hunger, you’re going to have to sleep more. Maybe not until noon. But at least until you get 7 ½ to 8, to 8 ½ hours. If you don’t find a way to do that, you are going to continually struggle with your weight. Isn’t that what has been going on for far too long anyway?

So why don’t you do that – why don’t you invent a way to get more sleep?

Is it because sleeping an entire night seems like cheating? Isn’t that what you’ve always been told? Like you’re not doing enough “real stuff” by sleeping “too long.”

Sleep is a weapon. Practice it. Wield it.
In the very old book (6th Century B.C.), The Art of War, by Sun Tzu, the classic treatise on winning a war, he was careful to point out that, in war, sleep is a weapon.

In life, in weight control, in the war on the munchies, sleep is also a weapon. A powerful one. Sleep is a weapon of war… it decidedly is not cheating. Sleep is the “real stuff” that makes all else in your life possible.

Take a careful review of your daily routine, and ask yourself how you can get more sleep regularly. Negotiate with your companion a way to daily get more shut-eye.

Sleep seems like such an innocuous thing. But your body needs it to regenerate. Then to move muscle energy (glycogen) to your muscles, so you can wake up every morning refreshed, and without the challenges of needing to load up on caffeine.

Nah. You’re Not Going to Do That.
Now, this is where it gets tricky. You aren’t going to do any of that, are you?

You are not going to change your sleep routine. You are deeply invested in it. So are the others in your home. They depend on you not sleeping. It’s not so easy to change.

In fact, I bet you were just getting ready to think: “I’ll just have to cut some calories out of my diet to lose weight. My sleep schedule is an immovable object.”

Which leads to the second major point...
Why do you keep saying you’re trying to lose weight, when everything you learn, that would be of measurable value toward that goal, you reject. Even if you believe it would help, you reject it as something you will be doing anytime soon.

Or you do it for a few days and taper it off, and quit.

If you want to eat less, and ultimately, permanently control your weight, you cannot leave more sleep out of the equation. But you do.

Nor can you leave 30-60 minutes of daily, vigorous exercise out of the plan. But you do.

You know a zillion other things you could do to get the weight off, and keep it off. But you don’t. Not most of them. And not for very long when you do try something that works.

Do you just want an anti-obesity pill you can take and forget? Who doesn’t?

Is it because you don’t want to deal with your own inner contradictions? None of us do.

What should be coming in loud and clear is that you sabotage your own efforts. Unknowingly, certainly unwillingly, you consistently find reasons, excuses, to not do the key things that could change your hunger within days, and adjust your weight downward also.

Repeatedly, your emotions, and hidden motives roughly intervene. Old “caught” things keep over-ruling newer “taught” things you’ve spent so much time learning.

There is a clash of values between what you have been doing for so many years, and the new things you have learned. And the old things win out every time.

How do you control your appetite?
Conclusion 13: Sleep ‘Til Noon

Next article...
How do you control your appetite?
Rule 14: Remember the Alamo!

VP Programs Development, ScaleDown for Life
VP Education, GoZonkers Inc.
Founder, – Satisfy Your Hunger
©2009 Laura Gontchar. All Rights Reserved.