is what I call it with my 8 year old daughter.
To the rest of us adults, its a pretty important factor in life.
If not one of the most important things we need to focus on, especially if we are trying to improve our quality of life.
For the purpose of this blog, we’re looking at how sleep patterns can affect the diet in terms of appetite, food choice, mentality and maintaining adherence.
Since the 60’s overall sleep quantity has decreased on average by 1 hour per night.
So we’re clearly as a species not getting as much.
Our lifestyles are vastly different.
You’re probably reading this from a smartphone or a tablet.
Probably late at night.
That’s not good.
Continue reading though!
Technology and its effects on brain activity is huge. It has a massively detrimental effect on sleep patterns.
We work more, but its not as labour intensive. More desk orientated. So naturally we are more sedentary.
We’re lazier not always through choice, so we need to sleep less (or at least feel like we do).
Studies indicate that glucose regulation is impaired after sleep deprivation and/or broken sleep. 
It has also indicated that short term habitual sleepers, ie 7 hours or less on average, do not adapt carbohydrate metabolism to compensate for this. It never improves significantly.
Obese clients have often had poor sleep quality one way or another.
In the Wisconsin Sleep Study, leptin signalling was shown to be impaired by up to 18% in people with poor sleep quality.
Our friend Grehlin has also been shown to be negatively impacted.
So as you can see, dieting with impaired sleep is going to be pretty fricking difficult.
Getting your appetite under control is hard enough when on lowered calories.
Impaired sleep just compounds the hunger as we’ve explored above.
Then you factor in extra appetite problems such as the menstrual cycle, and you’ve got a dietary nuclear bomb of unhappiness, poor adherence and feelings of failure.
So what can we do to ensure that our clients don’t fail and maintain the diet, more importantly overall long term lifestyle changes?
Ensuring good quality sleep is an absolute must.
The recommendations we make to our clients are the following:
- No technology before bed. Up to 1 hour. The blue light does you no good by negatively effecting Circadian Rhythms.
- Ensuring you have complete darkness. No lights (led’s) in the room for example.
- No TV in bed, or anything else. A bed is for 2 things, sleep and sex.
- Avoid Caffeine after 3pm (depending on individual tolerances of course)
- Avoid Napping after 2pm.
- Keep your bedroom cool.
- White noise, such as a fan can block out background noise (personal favourite of mine!)
- Keep a consistent sleep/wake time every day (another personal favourite of mine, see circadian rhythms again).
- Avoid alcohol, tobacco, heavy meals and exercise for up to 3 hours before bed.
- Just a token one to make sure we hit 10, fresh linen. Just because its awesome.
So there you have it.
Our who, what, where and why guide to sleep and dietary adherence.
Get yours better so you can own your diet, before it owns you. (I might trademark that).
If you missed part 2, you can read that here: PART 2