The two main hormones that are involved in hunger and satiation are ghrelin and leptin. When our circadian rhythm isn’t balanced, these two hormones become out of balance, causing us to feel hungry more often than we should, and causing us to overeat, because leptin (the hormone that tells us our belly is full and we’ve had enough) fails to do its job properly.
McKenna’s 3 Tips To Restore Hormonal Balance
- Tip #1: Restore Sleep Patterns One of the most common reasons for ghrelin and leptin to be out of balance is unhealthy sleep patterns. So the first step is to restore our natural sleep rhythm. The best way to do this is to go to sleep and wake up at the same time or as close as you can, 7 days a week. Yes, we all love sleeping in on weekends but if you want to take care of yourself and solve this problem, you need to be dedicated to waking up and sleeping at the same time as often as possible.
It also helps to not have screen time within an hour before going to bed. I know this is a tough one and will need a little adjusting to. This is because the color and brightness of the (TV, tablet, smartphone, iPod, e-reader, etc.) increases the rate of stimulation happening in your brain. Your brain heals your body, restores your hormones and promotes muscles growth but only when we reach these different levels of sleep. Rather than having screen time before sleeping, try to read a book, meditate or create a nightly self-pampering routine.
Another thing we can do to help us with quality of sleep is by controlling our thoughts before we doze off. The last thoughts you have before going to sleep are the same thoughts that your brain automatically wakes up to. It’s like it goes to La-La land and all this dreaming and when it’s time to wake up it continues right where you left off.
A lot of us play this game where we stay up too late and the last thought we have before we finally close our eyes is, “I stayed up too late. I’m only going to get 6 hours of sleep and that’s not enough!!! I’m going to wake up super tired and have a sluggish day!” So of course, when we wake up, our first thought is, “I only got 6 hours of sleep and I am so tired! How am I going to do today?”
Try this for the next few nights: make sure the last thought you think before you doze off is, “I’m going to get 6 entire hours of deep, restorative, healing sleep and it’s going to be the perfect amount I need to wake up refreshed and be able to handle my day tomorrow.” The next morning, you’ll wake up feeling just as you commanded your body to feel before falling asleep. Or at LEAST feeling closer to that than how you feel when you’re SURE you’re not getting enough sleep. Just try it, I know it sounds crazy but you’ll be waking up more refreshed and ready to take on your busy day.
- Tip #2: Reduce Chronic Stress. I know we can’t change our circumstances and life is just stressful. Sometimes we can change that but we don’t have control over ALL the external forces creating stress in our life. However, we can change how we react to them. I used to feel this was MUCH easier said than done until I started a daily commitment to spend a few minutes of being completely aware of all my senses. Many people call this “being present” or “mindfulness.” This can be as important to our health regime as eating healthy and exercise or possibly be more important than both because it paves the way for you to feel good about doing those other things.
When we take the time to spend a few minutes being aware and being present, that automatically reduces stress and that automatically helps us respond better to stressors in our life.
- Tip #3: Establish a daily routine that’s as close to the same as possible. It is part of my core essence to have spontaneity in life so for me, establishing a daily routine looks something like: Waking up and going to bed at the same time, and having the same eating schedule every day. Doing just that helps your whole body restore its natural balance including your hunger hormones.
It’s important to remember that the reason we get trapped in any emotional and mental loop is because we’re not paying attention. The remedy is to insert awareness where it is needed and it automatically becomes easier to handle. Which of these tips can you easily apply in your life? Comment below!