Crash (sleep more) and slash (body fat)! Research shows that people who sleep less than 7 hours a night tend to have a higher body mass index (BMI), which is a method for determining body fat. Some of this is due to the fact that certain hormone levels change when you don’t sleep enough. These changes alter your metabolism.

Sleeping less than 6 hours per night can also dramatically affect insulin levels. This leads to fat storage AND actually puts your body into a pre-diabetic state.

We need to also remember the impact that stress has on sleep. If your adrenal glands are overworked, you will have a tendency to have problems falling asleep. If your adrenals are depleted, you will find yourself waking up during the night. This is why it’s so important to support your adrenal function. Try taking a high quality adrenal support supplement twice each day (once in the morning and once in the early afternoon). Most people will notice an improvement in their sleep patterns within 30 days.

So, how much sleep do we need?

Most experts agree that most of us need between 6 and 8 hours of sleep every night. Obviously, this amount can vary, depending on your body, circumstances, illness, stress, etc.

It’s also important to remember that you cannot ‘catch up’ on sleep. So you can’t deprive yourself of sleep all week and expect to catch up on the weekend.

Here are a few helpful hints for optimizing your sleep.

  • Don’t bring technology into your bedroom! Leave the iPad, laptop, television, etc. in another room. In fact, try not to watch television or computer screens at least 1-2 hours before bedtime.
  • Ensure complete darkness. Even a small amount of light can affect melatonin and serotonin production, which can disrupt your sleep cycle.
  • Cool your heels. The room temperature is extremely important to good sleep. Studies show that room temperatures at or below 70 degrees are best.

Improving your sleep can have a dramatic impact on your health…and your weight.