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Unlocking Weight Loss After 50: The Role Of Sleep For Women

Sleep & Weight After 50

Permanent Weight Loss: Dr. Barbara L Katz

Sleep is a commonly overlooked factor in our ability to lose and maintain weight loss.

It is recommended we get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Too little sleep increases food cravings. It increases ghrelin – the hormone that makes us hungry and decreases leptin – the hormone that signals that we’ve eaten enough. Many of us eat when we’re tired to help stay awake – when we should nap or sleep.

When we’re chronically sleep-deprived, we’re more prone to developing pre-diabetes, diabetes, and insulin resistance. With insulin resistance, bodies don’t respond to the insulin they produce, increasing blood sugar. Sleep deprivation causes less insulin to be released, which also raises blood sugar. Lack of sleep also raises cortisol levels – and cortisol also increases blood glucose (sugar). 

“The less we sleep and the more we’re emotionally distressed, the more we may want to eat.”

Another way that lack of sleep may influence weight is by causing or worsening mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. If we’re chronically depressed or anxious, we may eat when we’re not hungry to help us cope with our emotions. The less we sleep and the more we’re emotionally distressed, the more we may want to eat. We also manage less well when we’re chronically tired and then may eat to help ourselves cope.

Nine Ways To Get Better Sleep:

  1. Sleep when you are tired. Don’t stay up late to watch one more episode or read another chapter.
  2. Keep a regular sleep and awake schedule – even on weekends and holidays.
  3. Sleep in a dark and cool (about 65 degrees) room. Even the light from an alarm clock may affect your sleep.
  4. Avoid using electronics an hour or two before bedtime and if you awaken in the middle of the night.
  5. Limit caffeine intake to mornings and lunchtime. In some people, caffeine takes up to eight hours to clear from the body.
  6. Limit evening and nighttime alcoholic beverages since alcohol affects sleep quality.
  7. Eat your last meal at least two or three hours before bedtime so digestion problems do not affect your sleep.
  8. Refrain from exercising within two hours of bedtime. Exercise raises body temperature, and body temperature has to lower for good sleep.
  9. If your partner tells you that you snore or stop breathing when sleeping, get tested for sleep apnea.

“Drinking a lot of liquid before bedtime may cause you to need to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.”

Common Factors That May Affect Your Ability To Sleep Well:

  • Sleeping with a pet (or pets).
  • If your partner snores or is a restless sleeper.
  • Sleeping on an old or uncomfortable mattress or pillow.
  • Uncontrolled allergies or chronic pain.
  • If your mind “races” at bedtime due to anxiety: Some strategies to deal with anxiety include journaling, self-hypnosis, EFT (tapping), meditating, working with a coach or a therapist, or listening to relaxing music or calming stories.
  • Drinking a lot of liquid before bedtime may cause you to need to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.
  • If you’re in a noisy or light environment, blackout window coverings or a white-noise machine may help you sleep.

If you are eating healthfully and exercising yet are having difficulty shedding those extra pounds, examine your sleep.

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Barbara Katz

About the Author:

Dr. Barbara L Katz is a physician, an Advanced Certified Weight Loss Coach and a Life Coach for women over 50. She is CEO of Dr Barbara L Katz, Coaching and specializes in helping women over 50 to lose their excess weight for the last time without dieting or excessive exercise. She, herself, lost over 40 pounds in her 60s with the help of coaching. In her free time, she participates in dog obedience, agility, and therapy dog visits to the local children’s hospital with her 2 pugs.

As a coach, she helps women visualize themselves as their future selves, comfortable and controlled around all foods. You can sign up for her weekly posts on her website, https://drbarbaralkatzcoaching.com. Every week in your inbox, you will receive information about how to lose weight successfully and permanently without dieting.