Weight loss and better sleep: How I fixed my broken body clock
-Aug 14, Jenny Paul, Health -
You’ve probably heard that skipping breakfast often leads to unwanted weight gain, because we often eat energy-dense junk food later on to make up for it. But did you know that it also wreaks havoc on your hormones – because they start crying out for refined sugar and fat in a bid to fuel your body?
This can then cause you to put on extra pounds, and weight gain can lead to respiratory difficulties and inflammation which disturbs your sleep. So, it becomes a vicious circle, because when you don’t sleep enough, your appetite increases, and the whole cycle continues on and on until, more often than not, a health crisis forces you to stop and make some lifestyle changes.
How the circadian rhythm becomes disrupted
At weekends we often eat differently to the rest of the week, so that throws things out of balance, along with lie ins and late nights. If you go out on a Friday night and go to bed later than usual that confuses your body even more, and then it’s hard to get up on a Monday morning.
If you want to look and feel your best, it’s crucial to support your body’s natural circadian rhythm – better known as the human body clock. Our circadian rhythm of digestion, sleep and hormone production and so on, interact to create a timetable of the day and night which our bodies follow.
Disturbed sleep and irregular mealtimes create corresponding disturbances in our circadian clock and make it difficult for the body to hold things together. This permanent state of jet-lag can contribute to all kinds of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease and hormone-related issues.
“Monday was always exhausting for me,” Helen Thomson, 44, tells Lumity. “I’d exist on coffee and binge-eat mid-morning, or I’d forget to have lunch and have a whole packet of cookies with several large mugs of tea mid-afternoon in a bid to give myself some energy. I had terrible acne a lot of the time and I started to slowly pile on weight, plus I was tired all the time. I’d often wake up in the middle of the night and be unable to sleep and I’d go out on Friday nights but then spend most of the weekend in bed – just exhausted.
“Finally I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue and, after completely crashing with exhaustion, it has taken me two years to heal and feel healthy and energised again.”
The key to feeling well again, Helen says, was paying attention to her body’s circadian rhythm: “I started to go to bed and wake up at set times every morning and night, so I am in bed by 10pm and up at 6am – no matter how tired I am, I aim for eight hours a night.
“I’ve added Lumity’s Day and Night supplements into my routine and I’ve noticed a big difference both to my skin, with reduced tiredness.
“I eat balanced meals at set times, aiming for 8am, 1pm and 6pm for my main meals and not snacking on anything that will play havoc with my blood sugar. I never eat after 8pm.
“I also gave up coffee and switched to green tea, and I only have two cups a day. I rarely drink alcohol and I go to the gym or for a brisk walk every morning. I’ve lost two stone and my PMT isn’t as bad as it was so I’ve really levelled out. It has been a long journey and I wish I hadn’t pushed my body to the point where I was forced into taking action and living a more healthy lifestyle.”
How to fine-tune your circadian rhythm
Theoretically, it should be easier for most of us than it was for Helen to keep our circadian rhythm in check. If you aim to wake up and go to bed at the same time every night, and eat regular, nutritious meals – as well as exercising – you should feel pretty balanced and healthy. A targeted 24/7 day and night softgel delivery system like Lumity’s flagship supplements, will ensure you get the right nutrients at the right time of day, which in turn will ensure that your body clock runs smoothly.
If you have been feeling tired and run down recently, then going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, as well as having regular mealtimes and exercising is going to make a noticeable benefit to your health.
If you enjoyed this, we’ve put together a guide to everything you need to know about circadian rhythm. And, here’s how to combat exhaustion.