Lose Weight While You Sleep

October 29, 2016

When struggling to lose weight most people never consider one huge factor … their sleep. We’re sharing how your body copes with sleep deprivation and how you can get more of it.

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BRITNI: Good morning and welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition. This show is brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness, a company that provides life changing nutrition, education, and counseling. I'm Britni Thomas, a registered and licensed dietitian, I see clients out of the Nutritional Weight & Wellness St Paul, Minnesota and Lakeville, Minnesota offices. As well as teach many different classes around the metro. So this morning I have a question for you. Are you eating real foods and balance and still not losing weight? Have you ever thought that your sleep, maybe what's hindering your weight loss? More than 30 percent of Americans get less than six hours of sleep. So basically we're a very sleep deprived nation and lack of sleep not only makes you tired and cranky, that also has a huge impact on your metabolism. Well, today we're going to talk about how to lose weight while you sleep. And yes, that is absolutely possible. Sleep helps you lose weight. It's pretty amazing. But before we get into today's show, I have two lovely cohost with me this morning, so first let me introduce to Teresa Wagner. She is a registered and licensed dietitian and she sees clients out of our St. Paul office and teaches classes as well. Good morning.

TERESA: Good morning, as a mother of three small children, I completely understand what sleep deprivation means.

BRITNI: And I'm sure there's a lot of listeners that can relate to that. I want to introduce my second cohost Kara Carper. She's a licensed nutritionist and she sees clients out of our Wayzata, Minnesota location. She is also a mother of a youngster. Good morning, Kara.

KARA: Good morning everyone. Great to be here with both of you today. So all three of us have had difficulty sleeping at some point in our lives, so we want you to stay tuned because later on in the show we're all going to share what's worked for us personally to get good quality sleep.

TERESA: Yeah. And I think that there are two groups of people who are sleep deprived. There are many people like me who have kids, they work and they have to take care of a house too. So they feel like they have too much to do in order to spend that quality time or that seven to nine hours sleeping.

BRITNI:  I often hear the kids finally go to bed and this is my only chance to myself or to get stuff done. I think that's very common.

KARA: I can also relate to that situation. So the second group of people that are sleep deprived are those that actually suffer from insomnia. So if you're listening, you may relate to that. According to National Sleep Foundation, 48 percent of Americans report insomnia occasionally and 22 percent experience insomnia every or almost every night.

BRITNI:  That's a lot.

KARA:  It is a lot.

TERESA:  Yeah. And we should be getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night. I used to think all I needed was six hours of sleep, but after making sleep a priority and now getting seven to eight hours a night, I realized I was not functioning very well on six hours of sleep. I didn't realize it because I had been so sleep deprived for so long that I didn't know how much better I could feel.

KARA: Actually the same thing with me, it's like, and as I'm getting older, I realize that eight to nine hours is kind of like a game changer.


KARA:  I'm going to repeat what was just said, that adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night.

BRITNI: We've established that there are a lot of Americans that either have poor quality of sleep or they're just very deprived in sleep, but how does that affect our metabolism?

KARA: Fat cells are affected the most by sleep deprivation. And Dr. Ludwig said that with sleep deprivation, the reward system in our brains reacts differently in response to the sight of junk food. So we tend to eat more food that's from sugar loaded foods. Basically when we're sleep deprived, we just want more processed carbohydrates. You know, things like chips, cookies and bread are the things that we're going to crave.

TERESA: Yeah, and have you noticed that when you get a poor night's sleep, you have more cravings the next day? Because I sure have.

KARA:  I've definitely noticed that.

TERESA: People who are sleep deprived, those individuals who are chronically sleep deprived, likely have more cravings than the average person every single day.

BRITNI: And it's not as simple as just having enough willpower to say no to your cravings because if you are sleep deprived biochemically, your body really turns to sugar. And lack of sleep decreases a hormone that tells us we're full, but it increases your hunger hormone. So you're always hungry and you're always looking for something sweet like a cookie.

KARA: Being sleep deprived makes you feel hungrier and you don't get that message that you've eaten enough and that you're full and satiated.

TERESA:  There's a University of Chicago study that was published in 2012, found that getting four and a half hours of sleep for four nights causes substantial decrease in the subjects’ metabolism. The sleep deprivation causes their fat cells to function like someone who has diabetes or who is obese.

BRITNI: That is crazy, and that's only after four nights. Imagine what's happening after months or even years for a lot of people.

TERESA: Other studies have shown that your metabolism is negatively affected by just one poor night's sleep. Sleep deprivation increases the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

KARA: Let's break down what's happening in the body when you're sleep deprived.

BRITNI: Good idea. So what should happen in a well-functioning metabolism, the carbohydrates that you eat are going to break down to sugar, also known as glucose in the blood, and then insulin is going to get secreted by the pancreas. That insulin grabs onto glucose in the blood unlocks the insulin receptor around your cell like a key to a door. Then the glucose, it's brought into your cell and gets turned into energy.

TERESA: So that's what should happen in your body, but when you're sleep deprived, the insulin doesn't unlock the insulin receptors very well. It's like the insulin has the wrong key to the door. The glucose doesn't get brought into the cell and it doesn't get turned into energy.

KARA:So instead of getting brought into your cells, you have too much of this glucose and insulin just circulating in your blood. And insulin, it's a hormone, it's primarily a fat storing hormone, so it's very quickly going to turn all of that glucose into fat.

BRITNI: So when you're sleep deprived, you're constantly turning glucose into fat rather than energy. So over time that easily leads to weight gain, insulin resistance, prediabetes, even diabetes.

TERESA: As we mentioned earlier, this decrease in your metabolism happens after only one poor night's sleep. The decreasing your metabolism, plus the increase in cravings makes it really easy to gain weight when you're sleep deprived.

KARA: Ask yourself this, do you think it's just a coincidence that more than 30 percent of Americans get under six hours of sleep and also 68 percent of Americans are overweight or obese right now?

TERESA: I think that so many people are sleep deprived because it's become accepted and normal. People just don't make sleep a priority and so many people suffer with insomnia.

KARA: I agree. Have you ever been in a conversation with someone when they're almost bragging about how little sleep they need?  Like, "oh, I know most people say they need eight hours, but I only need five I can get by on five." It's like a bragging right.

TERESA: A badge of honor.

KARA:  So we've established how poor sleep affects metabolism and how so many Americans are sleep deprived, but I think everyone's waiting to hear how can we lose weight while we're sleeping?

BRITNI: Well, let's not make those listeners wait any longer. So to lose weight while you sleep, you need to get seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. Sounds really simple, but as we know, it's pretty difficult to achieve now days.

KARA:  So I think that is the million dollar question. How do you get seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep?

TERESA:Well, let's start talking about how the food you're eating during the day, maybe contributing to your poor sleep.

KARA:  Poor blood sugar balance is why many people wake up during the night. If you're waking up at two, three, four, some people wake up really early in the morning, can't get back to sleep. That is typically a drop in blood sugar. So you know, some people feel hungry, other people do not feel hungry when that happens, but the key thing is that when they wake up, they're not able to fall back to sleep. And really it's because the brain is just chattering away and they feel wide awake.

TERESA:   I have a lot of people tell me that they wake up to use the restroom, but once their blood sugar is more balanced, they magically don't wake up to go to the bathroom anymore. So it was a blood sugar problem, not a bathroom problem.

BRITNI:   It's true. I have this client who, he had his prostate removed due to prostate cancer. As a result, he frequently urinates. When I first met him, he was getting up about five times a night to go to the bathroom, but after changing his diet and balancing his blood sugar, he was magically sleeping through the night. Plus he started losing weight.

TERESA: We say it all the time, but it really is amazing what we hear from clients and what happens to them after they start eating real food.

BRITNI: So to prevent your blood sugar from dropping in the middle of the night and waking up.  We want you to be eating real foods in balance throughout the day. So Kara, can you explain what, what does that mean?

KARA: Yes, I can definitely explain that. I'm just looking at the clock though and thinking it's break time. So how about if I explained that when we get back?

BRITNI:  You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness. Do you get overwhelmed when you walk into the grocery store? There's thousands of products staring at you. Maybe you don't know what to look for on a label. A Grocery Store Tour maybe the answer for you. In a tour we go over what to look for on a label, provide you with a shopping list and some go to brands. Brenna will be leading a tour at Lunds & Byerly's in Maple Grove on Wednesday, November 9th at 6:00 PM. And there's only three spots left in that. Then I will be leading a tour on Thursday, November 17th at the Cub foods and Lakeville. And there are only two spots left in that tour. Call 651-699-3438 to sign up. And we'll be right back.

KARA:   Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness. I'm Kara Carper and I'm here today with Britni and Teresa were talking about how to lose weight while you sleep. So Monday is already Halloween and as you know, Halloween means lots of candy around. So what are you going to do to avoid getting sugar loaded with candy? Give out something other than candy. So a couple ideas would be handing out pencils, stickers, mini bottles of bubbles, glow sticks are kind of a big hit. And if you're going to hand out candy, if that's what you've decided, just don't buy it until Monday so it's not going to be sitting around your house and tempting you because we hear that all the time, don't we? People are going to Target like a month ahead of time and they're eating it all and going back to buy more. So hold out until Monday if you haven't bought it already. If your kids go trick or treating and they end up bringing home a lot of candy, you know you can offer them some kind of exchange like have them give you their candy, give them money or a gift card or some kind of like a buying program. Some dentists are buying candy from kids or giving out coupons. Teresa, do you have any tips on what to do with candy and kids around Halloween?

TERESA: You know, I think that for the most part I just keep a pretty neutral attitude about the food and the candy and I find that they lose interest if I don't make it a big deal. And then eventually once they lose interest I either toss it or try to donate it. Although I have like feelings about donating it to, if it's not good enough for me and my family, it's that good for other people either. I just try to like, keep it just as a neutral.

KARA: I think that's a good, yeah, not like makes a huge deal about it and then maybe they don't think it's that big of a deal either. Right. And that's fine. They just kind of lose interest. Yeah, that's a great tip and I'm kind of with you as far as like, I started throwing a lot of it away and I know people have different thoughts about that. How can you throw it in the garbage? But I guess

TERESA:  Easy.

KARA: Try it, try it people, throw it in the garbage. And again, if you have questions for us today, give us a call at 651-641-1071. Before break we were talking about balancing blood sugar throughout the day to prevent middle of the night wake ups. Britni had talked about it's really important to eat real foods. So real foods are things that are found in nature, so bread, crackers and cookies do not occur in nature, but things that do would be sweet potatoes, carrots, chicken, nuts, things like that.

TERESA: We want to eat real protein like meat, fish and dairy products if you can tolerate them.

BRITNI:  Eating real fats so that's nuts, avocado, olives, olive oil, butter, coconut oil.

KARA: And real carbohydrates like vegetables are the best form of carbohydrate and then some fruits as well.

TERESA:And then you want to combine that real protein, the real carbohydrates and the real fat together every time you eat during the day. And that will help keep your blood sugar stable and prevent crashes.

KARA:  It sounds so simple, but you know, we'll be honest, it can be a challenge to do this on a daily basis. And realistically it takes most people several weeks, sometimes even several months to get into a routine and develop the Weight & Wellness habit of eating that protein, carbohydrate, and real fat at all meals and snacks.

BRITNI: Eating balanced throughout the day will help your sleep and having a bedtime snack can also be the answer for many, many people. Historically we've been told to avoid food after 7 or 8:00 PM, but that could actually be causing your sleep to be interrupted.

KARA:  Do you hear that from clients? Like they come in and they are under the impression that they're not supposed to eat after dinner.

TERESA:   What?  You want me to have something before bed?

KARA: And I think the reason for that is they're thinking fewer calories. Most are trying to lose weight, but the thing is like we're talking about, people have a very difficult time losing weight if they're not sleeping well. So if you are waking up in the middle of the night, it's really helpful for weight loss to have a bedtime snack and that should include a carbohydrate and a fat. Fat really is the most important part of that snack because healthy fat is what's going to keep the blood sugar stable throughout the night. Teresa, what's your favorite bedtime snack?

TERESA:Well, I have a couple of them. Generally I like to have pistachios because they just take a little longer to eat it and I liked that salty. So those pistachios are the fat and then I'll combine it with a piece of fruit or something like that. Maybe a veggie or something on the side. Lately I actually, I've been warming up a frozen strawberries and having it with some coconut milk and I really like that now that it's gotten a little cooler outside.

KARA: That sounds really good.  I will have to try that.

BRITNI: One of my favorite snacks is a green pudding. So you mash up a half a ripened banana with a half an avocado. Sounds really, really weird and it looks very strange, but it reminds me of like the filling of banana cream pie. It's really good.

KARA: It's good and my daughter eats that sometimes before bed as well. One of my recent bedtime snacks is I will take a coconut cream so it's just a little bit thicker than coconut milk, it comes also in a can. I take a quarter cup of that I add a little bit of our flavored vanilla bean whey protein powder just for flavor. I stir that in and then mash half of a banana and to me it's kind of like your snack Britni, to me that tastes like a banana coconut cream pie.

TERESA: Those sound good. It doesn't have to be anything complicated. One of my clients likes to have a couple of spoonfuls of almond butter before bed and that helps keep her asleep through the night so that really doesn't take any time. We also have a delicious recipe for grilled peaches and cream on our website and that website is weightandwellness.com. That would be a great bedtime snack and you could even sauté it rather than grill it.

BRITNI: We know what you eat during the day could either help or hurt your sleep. But what about what we're choosing to drink throughout the day?

TERESA: What you're drinking during the day, maybe contributing to your insomnia. There are two beverages I can think of and you can probably think of them too -  caffeine and alcohol.

KARA: The average half-life of caffeine is five hours, which means that you would still have about a fourth of your first dose of caffeine in your system 10 hours after you drink that cup, like in the morning. So this is going to vary from person to person, you know, as far as like watching caffeine intake, some people are extremely sensitive to caffeine. I have some clients that they can't have any caffeine if they want to have a good night sleep. For myself, I do have caffeine early in the day, but I know if I'm going to have it too late it will definitely affect my sleep. Usually I just have a hard time falling asleep if that's the case.

BRITNI:  A good rule of thumb is to stop with the caffeine after noon. What about alcohol? What does that do to our sleep?

TERESA:  A lot of people believe that alcohol actually helps them sleep, but this is a myth. Alcohol in fact can help you fall asleep, but it prevents you from getting into that more deep REM sleep.

KARA: REM sleep, that's the most restorative cycle of sleep that you go through and that's where most of your dreaming occurs. So if you're someone that doesn't ever dream or remember having dreams, that could be a sign that you're not getting that deep restorative REM sleep.

BRITNI: Did you know that alcohol not only inhibits REM sleep, but it can also cause hot flashes and night sweats in a lot of women. I know for a lot of clients, they wake up with hot flashes, interrupts their sleep, so they get a very poor night's sleep and then they just end up feeling terrible the next day.

TERESA:  If you have that habit of having a glass or two or three of wine each night, you may want to give it up for three to six weeks and see, just experiment and see if your sleep improves. What do you have to lose?

KARA: That is a great idea.

BRITNI: Kara you've had trouble sleeping in the past, what has helped you?

KARA: My sleep issues really began in my late twenties, early thirties. And I, to be honest, I don't know exactly what changed or what happened, but I started waking up in the middle of the night and could not fall back to sleep. I know the most important thing for me to get a good night's sleep, first of all, I have to keep my blood sugar balanced all day long, like we were talking about earlier. So if I miss a meal, if I don't eat a snack or let's just say like I didn't have a large enough dinner, like I only had three ounces of protein instead of four or five as an example. Maybe didn't have a healthy fat with one of my snacks. I mean it's pretty like I have to be right on track to keep my blood sugar balanced. So if I did something wrong during the day with my food, even if I have a healthy bedtime snack with a carbohydrate and a fat, I still wake up in the middle of the night hungry. I'll wake up and I'm wide awake, my stomach's growling. I actually have to go into the kitchen and get a snack. That's what happens to me. I guess the point I'm trying to get across as even with a bedtime snack, it's really important what people are eating throughout the day as well.

BRITNI:And that's a great connection that you made and I think that it's important that people do look at the whole day as a big picture. Kara is going to share, when we come back from break, more about what has helped her sleep. But right now we have to take our second break already.

TERESA: Alright. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness. This week at one of the classes I was teaching, I had a question about chia seeds. Chia seeds are talked about a lot, but most people don't know what they are exactly or how to use them. Well, they are indeed that seed from the chia pet. They contain 10 grams of fiber in just two tablespoons. Chia seeds also contain calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese. They expand in liquid and create a gelatinous consistency similar to that texture of tapioca, But be aware since they are so high in fiber, start with a small amount of chia seeds and work your way up to one to two tablespoons. Too much too soon could make you constipated. Stay tuned because after break, Kara is going to share some of her different ways she uses chia seeds. It's there are some things we wished for you to do what everyone else can do. 

KARA: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition, brought to you by a Nutritional Weight & Wellness. I am here today with Teresa and Britni. My name is Kara and we're talking about how to lose weight while you sleep. Before break was talking about the benefits of chia seeds and I love to make something, we call it chia pudding. It can be a great bedtime snack as well that's very satisfying. So you just soak a third of a cup of chia with about a cup of liquid. An example would be almond milk, and then I also add a little bit of almond or vanilla extract, a half a teaspoon just for extra flavor. So you let that soak for at least an hour and it turns out kind of like a tapioca pudding. It's really good. You can top it with berries, shredded coconut, your favorite nuts or even heavy whipping cream. And if you want a little bit more sweetener, you can put some stevia or pure maple syrup. You can add chia seeds to your smoothie as well, or yogurt, you can even just put it in water.

BRITNI: While we were on break, we did have a caller and she had a question about avocado oil. That has definitely been talked about more frequently lately. Avocado oil has a very high smoke point, which means you can heat it really hot before it actually gets damaged. That's really nice. It has a creamy texture and very neutral in flavor. So I think it's a great option. However you want to make sure that you're getting it unrefined and from what I've seen, it's really hard to find the unrefined avocado oil, so just make sure, turn that bottle around and look on there to see if it's refined or unrefined.

KARA:Thank you Britni. I know before break I was just sharing a little bit about what I do to help get a good night's sleep and balance my blood sugar. Something else that helps me is to avoid any electronics the hour before I go to bed. I also just stopped keeping electronics in my bedroom as well.

TERESA: That's an important piece for many people, but it's really difficult to do. The electronic stimulate your brain before bed when your body should be getting prepared for sleep.

KARA: Right, basically that's computer, TV, phone. I even turn around my clock in my bedroom when I'm ready to go to sleep because even that light can affect sleep. For me it was a little bit hard to do at first, but I know that when I was using electronics and on the computer right before bed, I would just wake up more frequently and not get a deep sleep. Getting a good night's sleep it's become more important to me than being on the computer or watching TV right before bed.

BRITNI:   I think that's a really great way of looking at it. So what's more important to you? Feeling rested and having a healthy metabolism? Or watching TV or maybe going on Facebook? I definitely choose the getting a better night's sleep and having a healthy metabolism too.

KARA:  Right. Right. And I think as we get older we're realizing, I mean I'm older than you guys, but like figuring out how important that good night's sleep is and what we're willing to sacrifice to get that. I also purchased blackout curtains and I can't even see them they just go under my regular curtains. So for some people that can be very helpful, just having a really dark room. I actually recommend that to new moms. That's when I purchased mine so that I was able to take naps when my daughter was napping during the day when she was a baby. It's very helpful for night as well though, and just having a nice dark room.

TERESA: That's a great tip for moms. And honestly I did that for my kids, I put blackout curtains in their rooms because I wanted the room to be really dark for naps. The intention was for them to sleep longer.

KARA:  That's a great idea for kids too.

TERESA:    But I didn't really think about doing it for myself. It's funny that we're on the opposite sides of that.

KARA:  Now I'm wanting to get that for my daughter too though.

TERESA:   That's a good idea too because I think about on my street, there's a street lamp right outside our bedroom window. So the blinds kind of block that but in any case. Do you use any supplements that help you sleep?

KARA:  I do. The main one that I use, it's magnesium glycinate. So for listeners that is the most absorbable form of magnesium, especially when it comes to sleep. The glycinate form. I take 400 milligrams before bed, which is four tablets. Some of my clients, I'm sure you have clients as well that need more for sleep and it's water soluble. It's a safe mineral and so I have a client who actually takes eight to 10, so that's 800 to a 1000 milligrams before bed. Another one is called 5-HTP and that's an amino acid and that's really helps brain chatter so it helps to just shut off that brain. I usually get eight hours of sleep and those supplements really help.

BRITNI:  That's great. Thank you so much for sharing. So 5-HTP, like Kara mentioned, can be really helpful for people who have that racing mind, that chattering brain either before bed or in the middle of the night. So you can take up to four of those 50 milligram capsules of 5-HTP before bed. But I recommend just start with one because that might be all that you need.

KARA:  And then just work up from there if one's not enough. Teresa, you were saying earlier that your sleep problems started after you started having kids, is that right?

TERESA:  That's right. And you know, I was actually a really great sleeper up until that point. But sometime after my second baby was born, things started to change for me. When my second child was an infant and my first was only two and sleep deprivation was like at its  absolute height, I'd have fantasies about checking into one of the hotels near our house. And it was not even a fancy hotel. It was like a Motel 6 or a Super 8 or a Motel 6. I can't remember specifically which one it is because I was so sleep deprived at the time. I just remember that there was a number in that sign.

KARA:  I remember those early days of having a baby.

TERESA:  Oh man, they are challenging. It was also in that time in my life where I started waking up several times a night even when my kids weren't waking up. It was very frustrating because I was already so tired and there didn't seem to be a reason why I was waking up on my own. At about the same time though I started training for and then ran a couple of marathons, so that was over a period of time of course. After I started training really hard and running lots of miles, I got pregnant again. I had the aspirations of running a particular marathon and so five months after baby number three was born, I started training for another marathon and I was breastfeeding that whole time. Then I did another marathon six months after the marathon, the prior one. It was a lot of running. Anyway, my sleep got progressively worse, not only what I have night wakings, but now I started to struggle with insomnia too. But for some reason I didn't put together that the sleep problem was probably related to a hormone problem that was related to that running problem.

BRITNI:  Were you also training for the marathons to help get off the baby weight?

TERESA:  Yes, I love, love, love to run, but I would be lying to say if weight loss wasn't one of the goals for training for marathons. But little did I know by that by trying to lose weight by overtraining, I was actually throwing my hormones off. I definitely didn't know that I should've been taking sleep seriously and making it a priority and then be losing that baby weight while sleeping instead of working my tail off running.

BRITNI:  And I think that's interesting because there's a lot of people that don't realize that exercising too much can actually create much more harm than good.

KARA: Personally I've kind of figured out I can go for like three or four mile walk. I can do yoga at night even after work and I can still sleep. However, if I do any sort of weight training, resistance training or like running anything, high intensity, I will not fall asleep. So I think that's just important for people to think about.

TERESA:Yeah, I really wish I knew then what I know now. I'm still trying to figure out my sleep, but it has improved a lot. I take 5-HTP as well and I also take a whole handful of magnesium. I take 800 to 1200 milligrams of magnesium before bed. Like I said, I'm still working on it, trying to figure it out, but a couple of things I've realized is that I need to sleep in a very cool room, a very dark room. And instead of TV before bed I need to read before bed so I can relax and I keep that stimulation, that screen stimulation away.

KARA:  Sleep can be very complex and what's going to help one person may not help another. It's going to really vary significantly from person to person. We haven't talked about Britni's sleep issues yet. Should we take a quick break and then come back and you can talk about your story?

BRITNI: That sounds good.

TERESA: Okay. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness. We were talking about, or we're about to talk about how hot flashes can disrupt sleep for many women on November 19th, Dar, JoAnn and Kris will be giving solutions to get rid of hot flashes and sleep problems at the Menopause Seminar. If you're struggling with hot flashes or menopausal symptoms, call 651-699-3438.

BRITNI:  Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness. I'm Britni Thomas. I'm here with Teresa Wagner and Kara Carper. We are here today talking about how to lose weight while you sleep. But before we get back to today's topic, I want to share a super simple way to make kale tastes really good. So kale is definitely been very popular in the last few years, but I often get asked how do you use it or how do you make it tastes good? So somebody recently gave us a ton of kale from their garden and I had to use it up. I decided to make kale chips. Super easy, you just cut up the kale and small pieces, or you could even buy it already cut up, drizzle some olive oil or coconut oil and some seasonings on top. I did paprika and garlic salt, you could even do Parmesan cheese and then you bake it at 350 for 10 to 15 minutes. So it's crunchy then. Super easy snack. I made it on Sunday. And it was all gone on Monday. So it went pretty quick.

KARA:    I bet my daughter would like that. Do you think your kids would like that, Teresa?

TERESA: I'm not sure it was a good experiment. Yeah.

KARA:  Alright. Well we have a caller on the air. It looks like Linda is on the line. Good Morning Linda. Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition.

CALLER:   Good morning. I'm calling with the sleep question. Last evening I was able to attend a concert in my community and actually did not get to bed until about midnight and I'm a morning person so I was awake at five this morning just wide awake and of course I'm really tired. So my question to you is how can I manage my day today to be in the best health that I can possibly be because I'm looking at possibly another concert this evening.

BRITNI:   You're busy.

CALLER:  And I'm a retiree.

KARA: Basically when you go to bed late, it sounds like you just naturally still wake up at 5:00 AM.

CALLER:  I do. It's just my body.

KARA: You know, I guess it, it almost sounds like that's not a blood sugar issue. Maybe it's just like that's your natural rhythm, which I think it's good for everybody to have a good set schedule like that with sleep. My recommendation might be just to take a nap. I'm thinking that maybe the only way to kind of get those extra two to three hours in. Do you Teresa or Britni, have any other suggestions for Linda?

BRITNI:  I would agree. And if, if it's just kind of a night here and there and that's not a consistent problem that you're going to bed really late, then there might not be necessarily anything that you can really change to help you stay asleep longer. So I think, yeah, that nap is a great idea.

CALLER: So we'll take some rest stops today. Thank you for your help. Speaking of sleep, I know you talk about the blackout curtains, but I also cover my mirrors in the bedroom.

KARA: Oh well that's a great idea. I don't have a mirror in my bedroom, but that's good for other listeners to know.

CALLER: Yeah. Yeah. So you don't have that reflection.

KARA:  Sure. Well thank you so much and enjoy your concert tonight. Alright, have a great day.

BRITNI:So on break we also had another caller asking about chia seeds and what did they fall under? What category? Since it's a seed I would consider it mostly a fat, but it's not going to give you enough fat for a full serving. So when Kara was talking about the chia pudding, still adding some heavy cream or nuts or whatnot. And then you're also getting some fiber with that too.

KARA:  Great. And then we did have another caller that had a question and is off air, wondering about the difference between magnesium glycinate and magnesium citrate. I guess they're both very absorbable, glycinate actually because it's a magnesium that's attached to glycine, which is a calming amino acid, we really like that preferably for sleep. So if sleep, if insomnia is the main issue, I think magnesium glycinate is going to be the best option. But just know that the trade is also a very absorbable and good form. Britni we would love to hear a little bit about your kind of story with sleep because I know all three of us have had issues. When did yours start?

BRITNI:  I remember laying awake in the dorm room and I mean it could take me like an hour or two to fall asleep and that continued to be an issue on and off over the next few years. And then it became really bad in my early twenties. I mean it would easily take hours to fall asleep. So unfortunately I really didn't know the solutions that we're talking about today, but I did start to meditate before bed. So really focusing on relaxing my whole body and it helped a ton so I was able to actually fall asleep. Then a couple years later waking up throughout the night became an issue. So at that time I would wake up anywhere between two or six times a night.

TERESA:  Your sleep was very disrupted. Were you able to fall back asleep once you woke up?

BRITNI:  Usually I did. Sometimes I lay awake with my mind racing, but at one point during that time my sleep schedule was very variable so sometimes I have to wake up at like 4:30 in the morning sometimes I didn't have to wake up until eight. I know now that that irregular sleep pattern did a huge number on my health, actually started to trigger migraines. At that point I was at my heaviest weight and I really didn't understand why because I was eating the healthiest I've ever ate at that point. But looking back it was because my metabolism was slow due to my poor sleep, so now the key for me is a consistent sleep schedule and I need like eight and a half to nine hours to really feel my best. Like a Kara and Teresa doing something relaxing before bed instead of electronics is really helpful. And then that magnesium really helps to put me into a deeper sleep. I'm making the bedroom cool is helpful otherwise I tend to wake up with night sweats.

KARA:   That's great that you were able to figure all that out and you know your body, that eight to nine hours is really what you need.

BRITNI:  There is one other thing that interrupts my sleep, my three fur babies. We have a little bit of a menagerie at our house, but it's usually one of my cats and I know that there's a lot of people that relate to this too. At about 4:30-5 in the morning, she'll come and nibble on my ear, lick my face, purring very, very loudly. So it would be very cute if it wasn't so early in the morning.

TERESA: That's an issue for some of my clients too. Have you found anything to prevent them from waking you up?

BRITNI: Of course the best solution, just get them out of your bedroom, which I know is not realistic for everybody. And for me, if we do that, then she scratches on the door.

KARA:So she wakes you up anyway.

BRITNI:   What you could do is try giving your dog or cat a tablespoon of coconut oil before you go to bed or split their nighttime feeding into two servings. So one early evening and then one closer to bedtime that will help keep them fuller longer. So basically the same idea is what we're talking about to do for yourself. So when I open that jar of coconut oil at my house, all three of them just come running because they love it so much.

KARA:  I think that's a great idea. I've never heard of that before.

TERESA: I've never heard of it either. Let's remind listeners that the answer to losing weight while you sleep is getting seven to nine hours uninterrupted sleep at night. So that seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep. We just shared what's helped each of us with our sleep, so maybe think of one thing you could try tonight to improve your sleep so you can start losing weight while you sleep.

KARA: We talked about magnesium and 5-HTP being great supplements that have helped all of us. Another thing, progesterone cream is a supplement or it's a supplemental bioidentical hormone cream that can help women to sleep.

TERESA:  If you wake up between 2 and 4:00 AM and are just wide awake, progesterone cream, maybe the answer for you. This problem often happens to perimenopausal or postmenopausal women. Progesterone has a very calming effect and it is great for women in perimenopause to relieve the symptoms of feeling worried. Rub a quarter teaspoon of progesterone cream on the thin skin areas of your body, like your wrist, inner thighs, neck and behind the knees and over your ovaries. Do this before bed for more restful sleep.

KARA:  And that's really helpful too if women are having hot flashes. That can decrease those hot flashes and night sweats is actually what I meant to say.

BRITNI:   We are out of time for today, but let's recap a few important points we covered. We know that many Americans are sleep deprived.

KARA: Being sleep deprived causes you to have more cravings for sugar and processed carbohydrates and you're going to store more fat.

TERESA:   Get seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep each night and you will lose weight while you sleep.

KARA: Have a bedtime snack and the bedtime snack that's really gonna help with sleeping through the night is going to be a healthy fat and a carbohydrate to keep blood sugar stable. So an example would be like apple and peanut butter or almond butter.

BRITNI:   Do something relaxing before bad. Try to avoid those electronics.

TERESA:Magnesium, 5-HTP, and progesterone cream are three supplements that can help sleep.

BRITNI: Thank you so much for spending time with us this morning listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you found the show interesting, please share it with a friend or a family member. If you missed the first part of the show, you can listen to on our website, weightandwellness.com or our app Dishing up nutrition. It is a simple but powerful life changing message that we give you each week, eating real foods for real health. Make sure I'm mark your calendars for the same time next week to listen to Dar and Marcie and special guest, Dr. Marion Nestle, talking about Soda Politics.

KARA: Thanks everyone. Have a great weekend.

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