Get More Sleep, Lose More Fat – Part 2
In Part 1 of this article, I discussed the seasonal rhythms our ancestors followed and how this affected metabolism, fat-burning or storage, and energy levels.
To recap, if you were ancient man or woman, your goals for each spring and summer were simple: reproduce….and eat as much as you could to fatten up for the coming winter. Hibernation and metabolic changes during winter meant that, by the time spring arrived, your body was primed for action and burning through its fat stores at an accelerated rate.
Our bodies still follow – or want to follow – this natural cycle. Problem is, in modern times, we have created an artificial summer that never ends.
We climate control our lives with heating and air conditioning, so we are not as exposed to natural variations in temperature. We enjoy a steady supply of rich, calorie-dense foods.
Most importantly, we extend our days and decrease the amount of sleep we get through exposure to artificial light.
Our bodies are still programmed to go into fat storage mode. Our hormones still react the same to the light, food and stresses we encounter in our lives. So we get fatter, tired and more depressed. Yet we never get our “winter” to hibernate, sleep it off, and convert our bodies back into fat burning machines.
Align Yourself with Natural Cycles
While it’s impossible to completely align yourself with ancient natural cycles in our modern society, there is one area you can focus on for maximum benefit: getting more sleep.
More studies are being done on the relationship between sleep and weight. Studies have found that reduced sleep is a major predictor of weight gain and obesity. Others have found that people who sleep less than seven to eight hours a night tend to have higher appetites, eat more than people who get at least eight hours a night…and gain more weight.Continued on the next page