One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident


Do You Get Enough Sleep?

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Mom caught me passed out a few months back in NY.


I don’t think there is any doubt….

From WebMD:

“It’s not so much that if you sleep, you will lose weight, but if you are sleep-deprived, meaning that you are not getting enough minutes of sleep or good quality sleep, your metabolism will not function properly,” explains Michael Breus, PhD, author of Beauty Sleepand the clinical director of the sleep division for Arrowhead Health in Glendale, Ariz.

Exactly how lack of sleep affects our ability to lose weight has a lot to do with our nightly hormones, explains Breus.

The two hormones that are key in this process are ghrelin and leptin. “Ghrelin is the ‘go’ hormone that tells you when to eat, and when you are sleep-deprived, you have more ghrelin,” Breus says. “Leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating, and when you are sleep deprived, you have less leptin.”

More ghrelin plus less leptin equals weight gain.

“You are eating more, plus your metabolism is slower when you are sleep-deprived,” Breus says.

From the NYTimes:

The research showed that depriving people of sleep for one night created pronounced changes in the way their brains responded to high-calorie junk foods. On days when the subjects had not had proper sleep, fattening foods like potato chips and sweets stimulated stronger responses in a part of the brain that helps govern the motivation to eat. But at the same time, the subjects experienced a sharp reduction in activity in the frontal cortex, a higher-level part of the brain where consequences are weighed and rational decisions are made.


Researchers at the University of Chicago found that dieters who were well rested lost more fat—56% of their weight loss—than those who were sleep deprived, who lost more muscle mass. (They shed similar amounts of total weight regardless of sleep.)

Dieters in the study also felt more hungry when they got less sleep.

“Sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same sectors of the brain,” Dr. Rapoport says. “When you are sleepy, certain hormones go up in your blood, and those same hormones drive appetite.”

From Runners World: 

…when it comes to recovery, sleep is every bit as important as what you eat or drink. There’s evidence that lack of sleep interferes with the metabolism of glucose, which muscles depend on for recovery. “Sleep plays a critical role in restoring the body, especially after bouts of exercise,” says William O. Roberts, M.D., associate professor at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine and medical director of the Twin Cities Marathon.

Sleep is important!

Yet every night I stay up, procrastinating sleep, trying to get that last thing done, a few more emails read, a little more kid-free time with The Husband watching that new show we just HAVE to watch. And you know what I normally end up doing in that last hour when I really SHOULD be in bed?

That’s right?


Normally it’s something I don’t want to be eating — something I was able to quickly grab out of the pantry. Something I promised myself I wouldn’t eat in a pre-bed sleep-deprived stupor, but I did. Again.

I’m done. I’m waving the white flag. I’m tired and it’s time to make sleep a priority.

How about you? Do You Get Enough Sleep?

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There are 13 comments so far.


    March 13, 2014

    Never, ever, ever…..
    This needs to change. I feel if I go to sleep early the chores, papers that need grading, and other tasks won’t happen. When, really, the last hour or so I am clicking around on the computer?

    Georgia Reed

    March 13, 2014

    Not even kind of. :( I blame it on my Myers Briggs. Is that healthy? ;)


    March 13, 2014

    It’s amazing the difference in my life since I started getting 7 to 7.5 hours of sleep a night! It was impossible for me when I was in my child-raising years,but hang in there everyone, your day will come!


    March 13, 2014

    I think your husband and my husband were separated at birth. My husband loves to get lost in a show with me. Don’t get me wrong…me too. BUT…..I have accepted that I need more sleep than he does because I am WAY more active than he is. Just as I have accepted I cannot eat fast food greasy food like he does. That will not accomplish my health goal. Thank goodness for Netflix, Hulu, Comcast on Demand, and DVR. We watch show together when we can. We don’t have children so we have more empty free time than you do. (Please don’t take that as an insult!! I hope we can have a kiddo one day.) As much as I love our tv time together, I LOVE my recovery sleep time more. That is what gets me to my goals. I get about 7 to 8 hours a night.


    March 13, 2014

    Not only do I find I need more sleep when exercising a lot, but also in stressful times too. I’m an accountant, and during tax season for example, I’m more of an 8.5-9hr a night girl. Usually 7.5-8hrs does it, but the added stresses warrant another hour I guess. September 2013 I tried to make a conscious effort to get more, and I did really well. Actually, I think you might have posted something about this back then, and it got my wheels turning too. I love your blog for that reason :)

    Martha Glantz

    March 13, 2014

    I really need my 8 hours and it is the rare night that I don’t get it. Luckily I’ve never been a late night eater (used to eat plenty throughout the day though). I do find that getting enough sleep is just good all around for my physically, mentally, and socially…I’m a crab when I’m tired.


    March 14, 2014

    Sleep is the foundation of my life, so I make sure I get enough. I use a sleep tracker app on my iPhone and on the nights I score 100% quality sleep I am so happy. I won’t trade sleep for anything, which is why I will never be someone who drags themselves out of bed at 5am for a workout. I’d rather sleep more and work out later.

    Emily M

    March 14, 2014

    I need some sounds advice how to get my 8 hours. I commute to Boston every day, and am out the door by 5:00am. I have a 2.5 year old who doesn’t go to sleep at night until around 10:00pm. Don’t recommend putting him to bed earlier, it doesn’t work.. I know that my lack of sleep is derailing my weight loss… I need help…


      March 14, 2014

      Without going to bed earlier, I’m not sure how you’ll get more sleep. You don’t mention what your evenings are like for the last couple hours before 10pm, but maybe if there was some serious quiet-time for all your body and mind might get some time to wind down to allow you a better sleep even if your 2.5 y.o. still doesn’t go to bed til 10. a better deeper sleep might help.

    Mary Ann

    March 14, 2014

    Timely! I woke up this morning feeling tired, cranky, and anxious and downed two bowls of sugary cereal — which I NEVER do. So I decided that everything could wait – I needed more sleep. After an hour and a half nap, I feel totally human and in control again. Sleep is very important to my well being.


    March 14, 2014

    I go through cycles with my sleep. It all depends on what’s going on…I tend not to go to bed early enough when Dave is on travel, for example. I do find it hard though to give up my quiet time after everyone goes to bed. I promise myself that I’ll only do it for 30 minutes or so…but the next thing you know it’s closing in on midnight and I feel horrible.


    March 15, 2014

    My fitbit has been wonderful for this. Tracking for a month really helped me commit to getting enough sleep.


    March 20, 2014

    I am working on getting enough good sleep. Often, it’s not a challenge, but the last few months it is.

    I aim for 7.5, but still wake up feeling tired. Last night, I got a fitful 9 hours! Which might work out to a healthy 7.5.

    I remind myself: you heal when you sleep. It’s a key part of the equation… but it’s just not always working for me.