More Sleep, Less Overeating!
By Heleen Woest
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A Lack of Sleep might be one of the Key Reasons for Binging and Overeating
We all know we need sleep, but we usually underestimate the danger of not getting enough shut-eye. If you struggle with an eating disorder such as compulsive overeating, bulimia or binge eating, you have to be extra diligent in getting a good night’s rest.
It is a well known fact that people with eating disorders are, for the most part, out of touch with their bodies and emotions. When you recover from an eating disorder you have to make a deliberate effort to focus on what you’re feeling and experiencing in the present moment. It is so easy to just slip back into thoughts about the past or the future and to ignore the, sometimes painful, present that you hold in your hand. For this reason people who struggle with compulsive overeating might eat when they are stressed, thirsty, angry, sad, and tired instead of stopping and asking themselves what is really going on. Numbing emotions and even physical needs with food can become second nature.
So if you are not getting enough sleep, and you suffer from food addiction, you might find yourself binging at times in order to “revive” a sleep deprived body. This can especially happen when your life is busy and demanding. You can easily get in a rut of not sleeping enough, loading up on caffeine to compensate, and “treating” yourself with desserts and sweets. It’s a vicious cycle that can be broken by getting more sleep.
I know it’s easier said than done, especially if you have a new baby, but it is absolutely crucial that you take a nap when that little one sleeps or you might find yourself unable to cope with life.
Studies have shown that people who were awake for 19 hours scored lower on performance and alertness tests than people who were drunk. Further studies done by the University of Pennsylvania found that people who had only slept for four and a half hours per night for one week were sad, anxious, irritable and easily frustrated.
Sleep deprivation has also been linked to low energy, poor memory, mood swings, anger, stress, anxiety, depression, hypertension, overeating and obesity.
With all these facts on the table you might want to take a serious look at your sleeping habits. It could be one of the deciding factors standing between you and a healthy lifestyle. Getting more sleep could result in more energy, which could result in more exercise and less food cravings.
After working with ladies who struggle with food for many years, I can assure you that there are much more to this struggle than just the physical aspects. However, getting your physical body healthy is a very necessary step on the road to freedom. In my program for women with food addiction and eating disorders I address the physical part of our struggle in two of the twelve weeks. I always stress the importance of getting a good night’s rest in order to deal with all the other elements involved in breaking free from an eating disorder.
That said, sleep doesn’t come easy for everyone. So if you experience difficulty in this area, I would strongly recommend that you make it a high priority to speak to your doctor: Sleep is vital!
You can get help for yourself or a loved one through my 12 Week Online Study Course. I’ve compiled this course from my own experience with food struggles, insight and understanding I’ve gained through counseling ladies in my support groups, Biblical principals, as well as material I’ve gathered by well-known Christian authors, counselors, and doctors. This study is jam-packed with information, practical guide lines and honest testimonies.
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