Have you gained weight since starting online teaching?
As an online teacher immersed in a sleep disrupted lifestyle, I’d say the chances of you replying to that question with a “yes”, is pretty high.
Why? Well generally speaking, the less we sleep, the more we’re going to weigh.
I know, it’s a real bummer.
When we begin teaching, there are 4 distinct physiological changes which occur within our body, that if we ignore, can fast track us down the express lane to weight gain before we’ve even had a chance to see it coming!
- When we haven’t had enough sleep, our body instinctively seeks out energy that it didn’t get during a restorative night’s rest. What does that mean? Well the quickest and easiest source of energy that our body can use is, you guessed it, sugar! Or more scientifically, glucose, which means if you don’t get sufficient sleep, you’re going to have some serious carbohydrate cravings.
- When we haven’t had enough sleep, it alters our appetite-regulating hormones ‘ghrelin’ and ‘leptin’. Ghrelin is a hormone that gets released to increase our appetite, leptin is a hormone that lets you know when you’re full. The problem when we’re sleep deprived, is ghrelin becomes elevated, making us feel hungrier than normal. At the same time, leptin becomes suppressed, meaning you’re not going to receive that “I’m feeling full” signal which can lead to overeating and subsequent weight gain.
- When we haven’t had enough sleep, it increases a stress hormone in our body called cortisol. This hormone helps us respond to real dangers, but when elevated for too long it can become detrimental to our health. This is because cortisol raises our blood sugar, which in turn, raises our insulin levels. Too much insulin can lead in the development of a condition called insulin resistance, which reduces our body’s ability to burn fat, often leading in the development of weight gain around the abdomen or belly region.
- Our digestive systems do not function well at 2 am. When we are working odd hours, we are likely eating at odd hours. Our biological clocks have an optimal time for everything. Eating out of sync to our body’s natural circadian clock can disrupt our metabolism leading to weight gain, because our body is not optimized for night-time energy and nutrient consumption.
Don’t get me wrong, what we eat is crucial when it comes to sustainable weight loss, but it is not the only factor one should consider.
Teachers should focus on improving both the quality and quantity of their sleep, because this is going to help them to experience less sugar cravings and hormonal imbalance, which may inadvertently aid weight loss anyway!
And let’s face it, who doesn’t want better sleep!!
Want to learn more about healthy habits for VIPKid teachers? Click here.
Want to WIN a Dino sleep mask??? Comment on this article and tell me what you could do to improve your sleep. If you are looking for other VIPKid merchandise, visit the “Official VIPKid Store”
This giveaway will end on September 14, 2019. I will draw a name from the comments and request an address to send the sleep mask. If an address is not submitted within one week, another name will be drawn.