Let me drive this point home: If you're on a mission to shed some extra pounds, getting a good night's sleep is absolutely crucial. Insufficient sleep doesn't just leave you yawning; it can seriously mess with your immune system. In fact, just one week of not-so-great sleep can throw your blood sugar out of whack, heading in the direction of prediabetes.
The side effects of stress and messed-up cortisol levels often show up as difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep. Sometimes, these sleep troubles bring along late-night cravings, making it tempting to snack before bedtime. Naturally restoring your sleep is the way to go; steer clear of pharmaceutical shortcuts, as they act like sedatives and rob you of the true benefits of restful sleep.
The root cause of sleep disturbances typically traces back to some form of stress, whether it's in your mind or coming from physical sources like over-exercising. Other culprits might include not enough exposure to natural light, drowning in the glow of screens from your devices, missing essential nutrients, or going overboard with caffeine and alcohol. All these stressors play with your internal body clock, messing with cortisol and melatonin release.
However, keep in mind, if you've been dieting your way into a stress-induced state, increasing your calorie intake might be the smart move. For some folks, especially women, boosting your evening carb intake can help improve sleep quality and overall energy levels, all while giving your thyroid function a much-needed nudge (especially when it comes to converting free T4 into free T3).
Free T3 is the real MVP among thyroid hormones; it's what keeps your metabolism humming. While your overall thyroid function might look A-OK, this conversion process can be as fickle as the weather, changing almost by the hour. Your thyroid, in cahoots with a bunch of other hormones, enzymes, and their trusty sidekicks, is what powers you up. It's like the energy regulator that decides how fatigued or peppy you feel.
Now, here's the scoop: Women, in particular, seem to be more vulnerable to low free T3 levels, especially when they're skimping on calories and skimping on carbs. But here's the twist: Everybody's unique, and these things can shift with time. So, your carb tolerance isn't set in stone; it can change from person to person and even within the same person over time.