Improve your bariatric surgery outcomes – get some sleep
Bariatric surgery, be it the Lap-Band system, the Gastric Bypass or the Sleeve Gastrectomy, is a very effective tool for weight loss for patients who are suffering from morbid obesity. However, to make this tool effective, significant lifestyle changes have to occur after weight loss surgery. Patients participate in our Bariatric Exercise Program, attend On Track Workshops and Support Groups, meet with our dietitians and learn to cook tasty and healthy recipes during our cooking demonstrations. At Griffin Bariatrics, we like to offer our patients all the tools to achieve the best results with bariatric surgery now and for years to come. However, there is something that most of us undervalue: plenty of restful sleep.
Why is sleep important for weight loss?
- Irregular sleep patterns (stemming from sleep apnea or shift change) affects hormone regulation. Hormones help us feel full or hungry and when sleep patterns change frequently, normal cues for eating can be altered.
- The brain needs glucose to operate. When tired, we tend to crave sugar, needing the quick boost of energy.
- Studies suggest that shorter sleep provides a more permissive environment for the expression of obesity related genes. Further, extended sleep has been shown to be protective by suppressing expression of obesity genes (glucose metabolism, energy use, fatty acid storage and satiety).
How to improve your sleep
- Get tested for sleep apnea (or the heavy snorer next to you). If you or your sleep partner have sleep apnea, neither of you probably get a good night’s sleep.
- Set a regular sleep schedule (get off Facebook and use your DVR to record your favorite late night TV show). Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep.
- Avoid alcohol use. It may help you relax, but it will affect your sleep quality.
- Avoid caffeine, multivitamins and B vitamins after noon as they can be stimulants for some.
- Provide yourself a relaxing and comfortable sleep environment. Your bedroom should be your sanctuary. It is hard to fall asleep when you can see a huge laundry pile or stack of bills staring at you.
- If your mind is racing with thoughts of your growing to-do list, put your mind to ease by writing it down. Keep a notebook by your bedside.
- Address you stress with exercise. It will clear your mind and give you a wonderful physical tiredness to help you get a great night night’s sleep. If feeling tired (due to poor quality of sleep) is your primary excuse not to exercise, then make a date with a friend to go for a walk or join an exercise class. You will be much more likely to exercise if you have someone to drag you out of bed.
- Take power naps (15-20 minutes) instead of snacking to keep you awake.
So, contrary to popular belief, sleeping does not make us fat. Plus, it helps us all avoid acting like two year olds at nap time – now THAT is the best reason to hit the snooze button just one more time.
For more information on Bariatric Surgery and our extensive support services, please contact our Patient Care Specialist Kim Fisher.
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