How Stress Affects Sleep And Weight

How Stress Affects Sleep And Weight

How Stress Affects Sleep And Weight

It’s easy to talk about getting at least seven to nine hours of sleep each night, eating healthy, and exercising regularly. It can be a little bit harder putting these principles into practice, especially in a culture that seems to thrive off of who’s the most stressed out.

However, stress takes its toll. Stress not only negatively affects your mental state, but your physical one, too.

The Unhealthy Connection

Our bodies are precise instruments. Even small external forces can cause them to become off balance. Oftentimes, you may feel the effects of stress right away: feeling rushed or hurried, racing pulse to get something done, or, if it’s severe enough, not sleeping enough.

When we get stressed out, it triggers our body’s fight or flight instinct. This results in more of a stress hormone called cortisol being released in the body. Constant stress causes elevated cortisol levels, which stimulates the appetite.1  

Experts say this could be why you find yourself turning to snack foods when you’re on a tight deadline or have too much on your plate. Some studies have even found that our bodies metabolize food slower when under too much stress, which contributes to unwanted weight gain.2

Additionally, stress can lead to poor sleep, which also leads to more weight gain. If you’re constantly stressed out, this can turn into a vicious cycle of stress, overeating, poor sleep, and weight gain.

 The Best Ways To Combat Stress

If you’re looking to control your weight and sleep better, stress management may just be the key. While exercise can be a great way to combat stress, research suggests that certain types of exercise doesn’t completely rid us of our stress.

For example, a jog, or yoga or Pilates session may help us increase our heart rate, but ultimately, it’s still a way for our brain to think about what’s stressing us out. Instead, experts propose that sports activities that require our entire attention (like a tennis match or running on a treadmill) help relieve stress.3

You can also combat stress-related weight gain through your diet. Adjusting your meal proportions, choosing healthier fats (like avocados or nuts) are great habits when it comes to curbing stress.4 If you’re a firm believer in meditated breathing, you may also try a quick session before mealtimes to help relieve muscle tension.

Working Through Your Stress

While it may not always be possible to get rid of stress altogether, these tips are a great way to help get it under control. When stress is more manageable, it helps curb our body’s ability to create more stress and hunger hormones that contribute to weight gain.

Today’s culture seems to be an unspoken contest of who’s the most stressed, but this kind of attitude only adds to poor health habits that have negative consequences. If you’re currently in a stress-free state, continue to eat right and get plenty of sleep, so that when stressful times do come knocking at your door, you’re equipped to handle it.

 For a list of incredibly effective ways to get a better night sleep, click here.... 






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