Improve your metabolism in 8 hours
During pregnancy we gain weight for a number of great reasons. These reasons are mostly based around your own bodies & your baby’s survival mechanisms. All those extra stores are there for your baby to draw on while in utero and also for breastfeeding.
People will say, ‘don’t worry it will all melt away when your breastfeeding’ or ‘don’t worry, you will bounce back in no time’. So what is happening when this doesn’t just magically happen?
We are told to prepare for sleep deprivation, but did anyone tell you how sleep deprivation would really affect your overall health? I certainly never got that memo.
I have been a Mum for over 3 years now and I can’t actually remember that last time I had a full uninterrupted 8 hours sleep. To be honest, I am totally fine with it and it is just how I roll. It really is just my ‘new normal’ and it won’t last forever.
According to consumer.healthyday.com, a parent loses about 350 hours of sleep at night over her baby’s first year.. OMG That is 43 nights worth of sleep!!
The issue with sleep deprivation is that it affects your hormone levels, which affects how your body functions… which usually means that your body will hold onto fat stores for longer and your metabolism slows down.
So while a lack of sleep is completely normal with motherhood, you need to keep in mind that your pre-pregnancy rate of loosing weight or burning fat is now going to be a little out of whack!
“It’s not so much that if you sleep, you will lose weight, but if you are sleep-deprived, meaning that you are not getting enough minutes of sleep or good quality sleep, your metabolism will not function properly,” explains Michael Breus, PhD, author of Beauty Sleep and the clinical director of the sleep division for Arrowhead Health in Glendale, Ariz.
Can I get a hands up for who feels stressed with the demands of Motherhood, Life, Work & other commitments? Stress is another HUGE factor that will mean your body will slow down how it functions.
Being sleep deprived and stressed can make it harder to really listen to you body and make optimal food choices. So I can turn into a bit of a vicious cycle. I remember it being more challenging to make healthy food choices in the early weeks after birth, because you are often stuck on a couch breastfeeding for hours, so you just grab something easy and gobble it down super fast without even tasting it. Even with a toddler I find myself nibbling on his scraps (you always regret that slobbered mouthful).
My message I am trying to drive home here, is that Mother hood is a tough gig and we have all these road blocks in our way. You need to be kind to yourself. It is a process, sometimes takes longer than we would like and that is completely OK. It’s time to acknowledge it, process it and take small steps every day to improve it.
I am in now way indorsing sleep training to get your baby to sleep for 8 hours just so you can speed up your metabolism. It will happen, but I can’t tell you exactly when.
Yes 8 hours of quality sleep will help balance out your hormones and help your body start burning more fat, so instead of putting your baby on a rigorous sleep training schedule there are some things you can do have a more restful sleep.
Exercise – Burning energy gives you energy and will actually make your sleep time more restful/quality. Do something active with your baby in the morning to help boost your mood.
Don’t wait for your baby to go to sleep to exercise. Rest when they are, but do some playful interactive exercises WITH your baby when they are awake. Click here to get my New Free with 5 things you can do everyday, at home, WITH your baby, to kick start your fitness journey. These things don’t have to be done all at once but can be easily spread out across the day.
Sleep when baby is sleeping – If you really need it, ignore the chores and power nap with your baby. Do the chores when they are awake and put them in a baby carrier for hands free action. I LOVE my Manduca
Before you go to bed at night, turn off the TV, dim the lights and do some gentle stretching, core &/or pelvic floor exercises to help you wind down. Even throw on some guided meditation to get those sleep juices flowing
Go to bed early! Yes if you are reading this now at midnight.. It’s time to go to bed. We co-sleep in our house, so when baby wakes up I can feed her laying down and don’t have to fully wake up to get out of bed to tend to her.
You are doing a great job Mama. So sticky tape open those tired eyes, rest when you can, enjoy the journey and know that each little phase doesn’t last forever.
Wishing you lots of sleepy dust tonight
Pre/Postnatal Fitness Expert
Founder of Nurtured Fitness