If you’ve been trying to lose weight for a while now, then you’ll know how difficult it can be. Some people even end up taking drastic measures to achieve their goals, like going on dangerous diets or exercising to the point of exhaustion.
The good news is that while you do need a proper diet and exercise routine to improve your chances of success with weight loss, there’s something else to consider too, and that’s the amount of sleep you get each day.
Studies suggest that sleep could be the crucial missing ingredient required to improve your sleeping habits and achieve your long-term fitness goals.
Here’s how having enough sleep really can help you to lose weight.
1. More Sleep Helps you to Manage your Appetite
Studies find that people who are sleep deprived often have an increased appetite. Although we’re still researching why this is the case, most experts believe that sleep has an impact on two crucial hunger hormones, known as leptin and ghrelin.
While leptin is a hormone that comes from your fat cells to suppress hunger, ghrelin is a hormone released from the stomach to tell your brain that you feel hungry. When you get enough sleep, the body releases less ghrelin and more leptin, reducing your appetite, and keeping your cravings in balance. Your cortisol levels are also higher when you’re not getting enough sleep, which can increase your appetite too.
2. Sleep Helps you to Make Better Choices
As well as helping to control your appetite, more rest can also mean that you have an easier time fighting back against unhealthy cravings for fattening foods. A lack of sleep changes how the brain works, making it harder to resist tempting, but calorific foods.
Because sleep deprivation dulls the activity in the frontal lobe of the brain, it makes self-control much harder. Additionally, scientists believe that the reward centers in the brain are more stimulated by unhealthy food choices when you’re sleep deprived too. This means that after a night of poor sleep, we’re less likely to control ourselves.
3. Sleep Reduces Our Need for Calories
Aside from making you crave more unhealthy food, a lack of sleep can also mean that you search out additional calories to replace the energy that you’re missing. Studies indicate that sleep deprivation makes it difficult for us to control our portion sizes, pushing us to try and eat more food, even when we’re not actually hungry.
When you’re tired after a poor night of sleep, you might find that you spend the next day sitting in front of your television picking at snacks, rather than eating healthy meals and getting the exercise you need to lose weight.
4. Better Sleep Improves your Metabolism
Your metabolic rate makes a significant difference in how likely you are to gain or lose weight. Your resting metabolic rate is the number of calories that you burn when your body is at rest. According to some research, sleep deprivation leads to a lower resting rate, which means that you’re less likely to burn through energy as quickly.
Some scientists also believe that poor sleep can lead to a reduction in muscle mass. Since your muscle burns more calories at rest than your fat cells, this means that your metabolic rate decreases even further. The more sleep you get, the more likely it is that you’ll end up with a metabolism that can chew through calories at a rapid speed.
5. Sleep Leads to Better Exercise
Let’s face it, most of us don’t feel like going out and spending a couple of hours on exercise after we’ve had a bad night’s sleep. Lack of sleep often causes issues like daytime fatigue, which means that you’re increasingly less likely to go to the gym. On the other hand, if you get plenty of sleep, then it’s a lot easier to find the energy you need to stay fit and active.
With plenty of sleep to help you recover after your workouts, you might find that you see the results of your exercise routines faster too. If you’re feeling sleepy after a workout, that likely means you didn’t get enough sleep the night before.
6. Sleep Prevents Insulin Resistance
Finally, a lack of sleep can cause the cells in your body to become insulin resistant. For those who don’t know, insulin is the hormone in your body that helps you to use sugar as energy. When your cells become resistant to insulin, more sugar remains in the blood, telling you to store more calories for later in the form of fat. Insulin resistance is also a common cause of type 2 diabetes.
Studies have found that people experiencing sleep deprivation are less able to control and lower their own blood sugar levels without careful diet control.
Losing Weight with Extra Sleep
Alongside exercising and eating right, getting plenty of high-quality sleep could be the key to proper weight maintenance and effective weight loss. Because sleep affects the way that your mind and body respond to food, you can’t lose weight properly before you’ve got your sleeping schedule in check. Top of Form
Add a good sleep pattern to your weight loss strategy, and you should start to see results in no time.