Struggling in the morning? Your metabolism might be struggling as well if you're not getting enough continuous sleep. "Enough" means 7.5 or more hours and actually sleeping through the night for most of us, but if you just kicked butt in Plyo or the Strength WOD "enough" could very well be 9 hours.
So you stayed up late to catch up on some (unimportant) television shows, and then have to be up at 5:30 for work. Of course, grogginess fogs your judgement and your breakfast is so-so and probably an incomplete meal, supplemented with an unnecessary amount of coffee (and cream and sugar- no wait it's 2015 - almond milk and stevia). Because your sleep deprived three HUGE metabolic responses are affected.
- Elevated morning cortisol levels - cortisol is known as the "stress" hormone, so elevated levels can't be a good thing. They're not! When cortisol is elevated glucose (sugar) metabolism is impaired and can lead to weight gain. Furthermore, elevated cortisol levels can affect your overall feeling of well-being, causing you to make careless food decisions.
- Decreased insulin sensitivity - Insulin sensitivity is how well our body responds to the release of insulin, the hormone responsible for getting glucose out of the bloodstream and into your cells (muscle and fat cells). Someone who is insulin sensitive requires less insulin to digest a meal. This is a good thing! A big insulin response can lead to insulin resistance and diabetes.
- Decreased glucose absorption - this one goes hand-in-hand with decreased insulin sensitivity. Basically, your cells don't absorb glucose from the bloodstream as well. This can lead to hormone imbalances, as more insulin will be released to compensate.
Enough science for now. Now you want to know how to fall and stay asleep, right?
Less caffeine, meditate, exercise...yea, yeah. We've heard those before.
How about this one: PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY when you walk in the door.
A few other tricks besides disconnecting from the world for a few hours:
- Turn your clock out of sight. It'll buzz/beep/sing - whatever- so there's no need to stare at it.
- Avoid the daytime nap. Do some squats and eat an apple. BOOM. ENERGY!
- Keep a dinner food diary for one week, monitoring sleep quality. Some foods may be affecting how you snooze. Don't Google it... just go old school and do some note-taking.