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Sleep and Weight Loss

Sleep and Weight LossIs there a relationship between sleep and weight loss?

According to multiple studies done on this topic, the answer is YES most likely.

With our lives being so busy and hectic, it is hard to get a consistent good night’s sleep. However, if you want to lose weight, getting adequate sleep is extremely important and necessary, as there is a direct link between sleep and weight loss.

If you are keeping track of your weight, pay particular attention to your weight during days or periods when you have not been sleeping much. You may notice that you have gained weight, or not lost weight despite your dieting efforts.

On the other hand, when you are getting enough sleep, you will see that you most likely

  • Consistently lose weight if you are dieting
  • Have enough energy to exercise, thereby become healthier and likely lose even more weight
  • Feel positive and optimistic
  • Have a high level of concentration and get more done

Here are some reasons why you will most likely gain weight if you do not get enough sleep.

  • Lack of sleep reduces leptin, a hormone that tells your brain that you are full
  • Lack of sleep increases ghrelin, a hormone that triggers hunger
  • Sleep deprivation slows down your metabolism
  • People tend to eat sugary or starchy snacks to give them a quick boost of energy when they are tired
  • Lack of sleep puts your body in a state of stress, which leads to further weight gain
  • Constipation will occur or worsen for some people

Looking at the above, lack of sleep is a recipe for disaster, from a weight loss perspective. Not only is your metabolism sluggish, you will be feeling hungry and not full until you’ve overeaten, and you will be constantly craving high-calorie fattening foods. In addition, some people may not be getting rid of their waste from their body.

Sleep And Weight Loss, How Many Hours Should I Sleep?

The number of hours needed for optimal weight loss differs for each person, but appears generally to be between 6-8 hours.

Interestingly, sleeping too much (typically more than 9 hours) was also found to be linked to some weight gain, although not as much as the weight gain experienced by people who slept short hours (typically less than 6 hours).

Determine your optimal sleep hours by watching your energy, concentration, and your weight level. For most people, this is probably somewhere between 7-8 hours.

Long Term Risks of Sleep Deprivation

There is a reason that when you are sick (with a cold, flu, etc.), you sleep. That is because your immune system needs sleep to function optimally. If you are constantly deprived of sleep, you will be at higher risk of getting illnesses such as high blood pressure and heart disease. So, not only are sleep and weight loss linked, sleep and health are highly correlated as well!

In addition, as growth hormones are normally produced during sleep, you may also experience premature aging. Finally, any existing illness you have may be worsened by not sleeping enough.

Start Getting Enough Sleep Now

If you are always sleep-deprived, start getting enough sleep today! Sleep is one of the most important things you need to do in order to achieve weight loss, if not the most important.

The good thing about sleep is that it is free, and you can start immediately. It will also provide you with enough energy to exercise if you choose, which will not only make you healthier but also potentially speed up your weight loss.