Your Secret Superpower - Are you using yours?
It's no question that sleep is important, but how important could it actually be?
Will burning the midnight oil come back to bite you?
The fact is that less sleep might not come back to bite you, but you might be doing a little more
biting than usual. Your brain on less sleep is like a gluttonous zombie. Sleeping too little dulls
activity in the frontal lobe, the part of the brain dedicated to decision making and impulse control.
And the brain's reward centre is all ﬁred up, so you'll be more inclined to go for bigger, higher
carbohydrate meals. Put that all into a mixing bowl and you've got a recipe for disaster.
Even if you do manage to say no to that bigger-than-usual slice of cake at Susan from the ofﬁce's
post-surgery party, there are other ways that less sleep will work against you.
Sleep affects your metabolism; and that's a big deal. Anything less than 7 hours of sleep will cause
your cortisol levels to spike, which prompts your body to hang on to energy for your waking hours.
In other words, you're more likely to store fat. If you cut sleep over a two week period, rates of
weight loss will decrease over 50% regardless of calories staying equal; and after just 4 days,
insulin activity is suppressed by 30%. This means that sugars cannot be converted into energy,
and fat in the bloodstream will not be used, meaning it will be stored somewhere (hips and thighs
are usually an easy landing zone)
Tips for a good night's sleep:
• Stay away from the computer, iPad, phone and TV an hour before bed
• Save the bed for sleep. Let it be a place for relaxation, not work
• Create a bed time ritual. Try not to work until the late of night, instead, take a bath
• Stick to the same sleep and wake up schedules. This is like training your body to know when to
• Turn out the lights. Darkness cues melatonin, the sleep hormone, while light suppresses it
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.