5 reasons to get the best sleep
Sleep specialist Olivia Arezzolo shares her tips for falling asleep quickly, with studies proving that sleep is the key to weight loss, cutting out junk food, staying motivated and stressing less.
New year resolutions are well under way – everyone’s committing to eating healthier, losing those Christmas kilos and staying on track for the year, rather than the week. For anyone with these goals, make it easier for yourself by getting quality sleep. Here’s why:
1. With respect to weight loss, the Department of Medicine, University of Chicago discovered individuals lost 55% more body fat simply by sleeping 8.5 hours rather than 5.5 hours. . Tracking every morsel that entered their mouths and all physical activity, the single variable was sleep length. And before you think it was the difference between the people themselves in short versus long sleep groups – it wasn’t. The same individuals were tested in both conditions.
2. Trying to moderate your portions this year?
Scientists uncovered hunger hormone ghrelin increases by a 28% for those lacking sleep, and further, they also experience a 18% decrease in satiety hormone leptin. Consequentially, this converts to a hungrier, less satisfied you.
3. Cutting out junk?
Researchers at UC Berkley found that when you are sleep deprived, the brain area controlling desire – say, for example, for those hot chips or that chocolate bar – has greater control over your decisions than it usually would. With heightened primal urges, we are also more likely to cave to our cravings due to a bunting of the cortical region dictating rationale and decision making. The researchers concluded: “high calorie foods become significantly more desirable when sleep deprived”.
4. Staying motivated, at work and at home is challenging in itself
– so don’t make it harder than it needs to be. This study pinpoints lack of sleep impairs the brains frontal lobe, responsible for attention, judgement and concentration. This helps explain the 2016 Sleep Health Foundation Australian Sleep Survey finding that 29% of workplace errors are a direct result of fatigue.
5. Looking to stress less this year?
Sufficient sleep, biologically, is your ticket: there is a 37% rise in stress hormone cortisol only after one night of inadequate sleep, meaning the next day you’re likely to feel anxious, wired, jittery and unable to switch off. Further, for anyone seeking to be more calm, cool and collected when confronted with unexpected problems, researchers also discovered that a lack of sleep exacerbates your reactivity to stress, aka you’re more likely to ‘blow up’ at someone for something minor if you haven’t had those quality zzz’s.
So, my top 3 go-to guide for quality sleep?
Join my Sleep Solution e-community so you receive ongoing sleep tips from me. Combining my degrees in psychology, physiology and nutrition, my evidence-based strategy helps you fall asleep, stay asleep and wake up more refreshed. We all know support is the #1 factor in long-term change – sign up now.
Stay cool with Shleep: when you are too hot, research by Netherlands Institute for Brain Research, Amsterdam shows your body does not secrete melatonin, the hormone to make you sleepy. This is the exact reason you wake through the eve more frequently in summer, if you’re sick or if you’re going through hormonal changes such as menopause or pregnancy – biologically, you aren’t tired. Shleep is the perfect anecdote to this: research pinpoints wool not only insulates, but reacts to changes in your body temperature – hence if you get too warm or too cool, being surrounded by wool will protect you from waking unnecessarily.
Make sure you’re covering all bases: given that your head, hands and feet will allow for the greatest heat losses and gains, make sure that your pillow, sheet and your Doona are Shleep suitable (pun definitely intended). Why risk sub-par energy (and missing out on the benefits above) when you’re going to be sleeping for 1/3 of your life? Invest now – both in stocking up on the Shleep range plus signing up for my sleep tip emails – you will reap the rewards in days, months and years to come.
Olivia is a Sleep Specialist
(Bachelor of Social Science – Psychology; Certificate Sleep Psychology; Diploma of Health Science – Nutritional Medicine; Certificate 3+4 Fitness), helping individuals and corporates alike fall sleep, stay asleep and wake up more refreshed.
As a speaker and media expert, Olivia has partnered with Sealy Posturepedic, Block Blue Light, GoHealthy, F45 Group and P.E Nation, whilst her writing features on platforms such as Daily Mail and Ten Daily.
As a young solo entrepreneur, Olivia aims to inspire others with her journey: a culmination of hard work, following her dream to make a genuine difference to the wellness of the global community, and to remain grounded by simple pleasures: the beach, nature, walking and conversations (often with wine) with her closest friends and family.