Insomnia and fat gain around the waist, advice and encouragement appreciated

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    Insomnia and fat gain around the waist, advice and encouragement appreciated


    Hey all,

    I've been having really bad trouble sleeping of late. Average 4 hours a day for the last 10 days and last night didn't get anything.

    I've noticed that when I don't sleep well, I seem to lose fat/muscle around the shoulders/arms/legs etc, but gain it around the waist/buttocks.

    The thing is, this happens so quickly it's ridiculous, like after two days I'm noticebly more flabby.

    1) Perhaps my body is carrying more water in addition to fat in those areas, thus exaggerating the effect?

    2) I understand the hormonal factors that drive this (increased cortisol, diminished GH); does the body play catch-up once I start sleeping and will this fat gain rapidly reverse? Man I sure hope so.

    3) How badly does sleep affect recovery? Should I work out if I haven't slept well (more than 3-4 hours for the last 4 days straight). Should I work out if I haven't slept at all for like two days? What about HIIT and cardio?

    Yesterday I had an awesome work-out but then didn't sleep a wink. Took ZMA and 6mg melatonin (usually I take 1.5 or 3 but those didn't do anything) and felt crappy all-night but not a wink. Now I'm feeling weak, flabby and miserable...

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    Many who suffer from insomnia also suffer from 'sleep eating' or 'night bingeing' and don't even realize it. Possible?
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    nah mate,

    i'm very particular about NOT eating at all during the time I'm supposed to be sleeping. I figure since all I'm doing is lying down I don't need any extra calories.
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    Quote Originally Posted by masif101
    Hey all,

    I've been having really bad trouble sleeping of late. Average 4 hours a day for the last 10 days and last night didn't get anything.

    I've noticed that when I don't sleep well, I seem to lose fat/muscle around the shoulders/arms/legs etc, but gain it around the waist/buttocks.

    The thing is, this happens so quickly it's ridiculous, like after two days I'm noticebly more flabby.

    1) Perhaps my body is carrying more water in addition to fat in those areas, thus exaggerating the effect?

    2) I understand the hormonal factors that drive this (increased cortisol, diminished GH); does the body play catch-up once I start sleeping and will this fat gain rapidly reverse? Man I sure hope so.

    3) How badly does sleep affect recovery? Should I work out if I haven't slept well (more than 3-4 hours for the last 4 days straight). Should I work out if I haven't slept at all for like two days? What about HIIT and cardio?

    Yesterday I had an awesome work-out but then didn't sleep a wink. Took ZMA and 6mg melatonin (usually I take 1.5 or 3 but those didn't do anything) and felt crappy all-night but not a wink. Now I'm feeling weak, flabby and miserable...
    I DEFINITELY notice that I carry a ton of water weight if I am not getting enough sleep. Then once everything normalizes and I hit 8 or so hours, it all disappears and I'm less bloated.
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    I've battled insomnia for years! It's not just imortant to recovery, it IS recovery. If the supplements (ZMA, etc..) aren't working, go see your doc. I've been taking trazodone for several years and it's been a life saver. I also keep some ambien on hand for bad nights. There is a night and day difference in my body and my training when I've gotten a good nights rest vs. when I haven't.
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    I am no expert, but I suspect that stress induced elevated cortisol may be creating the localized weight gain. The lack of sleep creates even more stress. Consider taking some time of to see if you are not stessing your CNS with overtraining.
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    cheers for the input all. Got some zzzs last night!

    Sometimes it's anxiety, sometimes I've overstressed the CNS. I'm learning to manage things slowly; I now rarely go to failure, keep work-outs short and earlier in the day etc. This has helped with the insomnia somewhat.

    I've noticed not sleeping is bad for fat gain/staying lean (cortisol up, GH down) but yea, it seems to be a little water weight as well.

    Sometimes I wonder if a high protein/limited carb diet is worse for the fat gain, cause protein digestion goes hand in hand with cortisol elevation, but I'm not really familiar with the mechanisms for this. Anecdotally, it seems eating moderate carb/moderate protein/low fat does me better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by masif101
    cheers for the input all. Got some zzzs last night!

    Sometimes it's anxiety, sometimes I've overstressed the CNS. I'm learning to manage things slowly; I now rarely go to failure, keep work-outs short and earlier in the day etc. This has helped with the insomnia somewhat.

    I've noticed not sleeping is bad for fat gain/staying lean (cortisol up, GH down) but yea, it seems to be a little water weight as well.

    Sometimes I wonder if a high protein/limited carb diet is worse for the fat gain, cause protein digestion goes hand in hand with cortisol elevation, but I'm not really familiar with the mechanisms for this. Anecdotally, it seems eating moderate carb/moderate protein/low fat does me better.
    Try a 40/40/20 split for the macros.
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