Ever wished weight loss involved something as simple as catching a bit of shuteye? Well, guess what? Sleep can actually help you shed off some weight. While dieting and exercising are of the essence, catching at least eight hours of sleep is equally as important for effective weight loss. Can’t understand how this works? Fret not because we’re breaking down weight loss and sleep in relation to each other, to help you understand ways a good night’s sleep can aid your weight loss journey.
Quality Sleep Keeps Your Appetite in Check
Your appetite is usually controlled by two hormones, namely; ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin is released in the gut and it signals hunger. Being the hunger hormone, its levels are usually high when your stomach is empty. Leptin, on the other hand, is the fullness hormone and hence suppresses hunger. Its levels are high after you eat.
What does any of this have to with weight loss and sleep in relation to each other? Well, lack of enough sleep results in a chemical imbalance. In this case, ghrelin levels increase, while leptin levels dip. This, in turn, causes your appetite to go into overdrive and in the process, you overindulge. As a result, you take more calories than you need.
As if it’s not bad enough, lack of sufficient sleep puts your body under stress, resulting in increased levels of the stress hormone known as cortisol. This hormone causes your body to store fat instead of burning it, which further causes an insane weight gain.
Getting at least eight hours of quality slumber enables your body to restore and maintain the right chemical balance. With proper levels of ghrelin and leptin, you’ll not only keep your hunger pangs in check but will also avoid stress. This greatly rewards your weight loss efforts.
Enough Quality Sleep Keeps Cravings at Bay
Ever notice that if you’re up till late, you’ll at some point find yourself in the kitchen fixing up a burger or any other unhealthy snack of your choice. At a glance, this seems like a pretty ordinary thing to do but in reality, it’s the endocannabinoids in action.
Endocannabinoids are the chemicals in the brain that make eating enjoyable. When their level is high, you’ll more likely order a burrito or pizza when you’ve got a perfectly healthy salad in your fridge. Simply put, lack of sleep not only increases your appetite but also heightens your desire for unhealthy food.
Enough sleep, on the other hand, enables the brain to maintain optimal levels of endocannabinoids. This makes you less likely to feast on unhealthy snacks and foods and consequently, aids your weight loss journey. Invest in quality sleep resources including a great mattress and beddings for your beauty sleep.
Increases Insulin Levels
Insulin facilitates the breakdown and conversion of carbs into glucose which is then used by the body as energy. It also keeps the blood sugar levels at par.
As noted, sleep-deprivation causes a complete chemical imbalance in the body. It affects not only the levels of hunger and stress hormones but also reduces insulin levels. This means more carbs digested are converted into fats and stored instead of glucose for energy. Unfortunately, more fats being stored means more weight gain. Also, the lack of enough insulin means a low blood sugar level, which in turn affects your health!
In that light, hit the sheets for at least eight hours to help your body maintain proper levels of this metabolic hormone for not only weight loss, but your overall health.
Sleep Enhances Physical Activity
You become groggier than usual in the morning if you don’t get enough sleep. Not only that, but you also become easily fatigued and your concentration goes out the window. This means even taking on a simple physical activity, for instance, going up a flight of stairs becomes a chore. Why? Your body is not well-rested and so is your brain.
Sleep is the body’s way to rejuvenate itself. Getting your beauty sleep will not only restore your body’s chemical balance but will also restore your energy. This makes it easier for you to engage in physical exercise, which in turn improves your weight loss.
More Sleep Means Better Decisions
As noted, the lack of enough sleep causes a lack of concentration as well. This means, you make poor decisions even with your eating choices and not just because ghrelin levels are high but because your brain rewards centers require comfort. Again, that’s how you end up giving in to your cravings.
Enough sleep means better concentration, and consequently, better decisions, hence, you’re less likely to munch on anything that comes your way.
While the idea of sleeping for weight loss might seem far-fetched, it’s a science-backed fact. So if you’ve only been hitting the sack for two hours, then it’s time to up your sleep game for your body goals.