Hijacked Hormones/Guest Blog

Hijacked hormones? Take heart, there’s hope yet…

So what is it with women and hormones after 40?

Seriously. Even if you watch what you eat, exercise religiously several times a week, and try to hang onto a positive attitude, sometimes things seem to go awry. More often than not you end up feeling stressed out, fat, frumpy and exhausted.

How the heck did this happen?

Even more important, what is one big thing you can do to make your life better right NOW?

The good news is there’s a simple solution that could have a huge impact – and you can try it tonight. It might require you to rearrange your schedule a little, but there’s no sweat, starving yourself or trying to sit still and “clear your mind” for half an hour.

So what is this easy solution?

I’m talking about sleep. Glorious, peaceful, rejuvenating sleep.

Closeup portrait of nice female sleeping in bedroom at home, cal

Sure, it’s no secret sleep will help with your energy, but what’s the connection with stress and that depressing extra padding on your hips, waist and thighs?

Glad you asked. Researchers are finally discovering some of the biological mechanisms for the benefits of sleep, which leads to some pretty interesting research findings.

For instance, did you know that sleep helps normalize your daytime cortisol levels? Yep, that pesky stress hormone… the one that makes you feel anxious and tells your body to store that cookie you had as a treat as fat around your middle. Cortisol gets tamed with a good night’s sleep. Even better, when your stress is down during the day, it’s easier to sleep well that night. Love that part.

And get this: Sleep helps you control your blood sugar better. You’re probably aware that extreme swings in blood sugar wreak havoc on your metabolism and over-stimulate your pancreas, which leads to all kinds of problems, even type 2 diabetes. Sleep will flatten out those changes, keeping your system more even-keeled.

And finally, let’s not forget all that interval training you’ve been urged to do to increase your growth hormone. Guess what? Sleep increases growth hormone, too. And we know growth hormone nudges your metabolism higher so you burn more calories at rest, especially fighting the dreaded “muffin top.”

Of course, sometimes getting a good night’s sleep is easier said than done, but a few tried-and-true methods to nudge you in the right direction are:

  1. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day of the week. This sets your biological clock so pretty soon you’ll be going to sleep and waking up easily.
  1. Turn off all electronic screens at least an hour before bedtime. The blue light is very stimulating to your brain, which makes it hard to fall asleep. Try reading from a paper book (yes, remember those?) with a warm-spectrum light bulb. Or try other recreational bedroom activities…
  1. Hold the alcohol, which actually acts as depressant first, then as a stimulant hours later (in the middle of the night!) If you’re going to drink, try to finish up a few hours before bedtime.

There’s no doubt about it, being a woman over 40 brings plenty of challenges. But take heart because now you know one scientifically-proven strategy is to turn off the world and its problems and just go to sleep. It’s the easy way to a slimmer silhouette.

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Maureen Garry is a Certified Nutritionist and Trainer from Hawaii specializing in women’s fat loss. Having gone through weight struggles of her own she’s figured out how to get and stay lean over 40 and wants to help other women get there too.

You can get help to lose your extra weight at http://www.flatbellybreakthrough.com.