Sleep Your Way Slim
An increase in beauty sleep doesn’t determine weight loss success, but a consistent lack of sleep can definitely stand in the way of it. Weight loss is already a challenge, so don’t sabotage your efforts by not getting a healthy amount of sleep every night. Alongside regular exercise and healthy eating, sleep plays an important role in weight management.
So why is sleep so important? Here are a few reasons to stay in bed a little longer.
Sleep, Hormones and Weight Gain1, 2
Sleep and weight are more closely related than you may think. Being sleep deprived may drive your desire to eat. The production of certain hormones is directly influenced by sleep. Leptin and ghrelin, for example, are hormones that control the feeling of fullness and hunger. With too little sleep, leptin levels nose dive, and you may find yourself not feeling satisfied after enjoying a meal. Conversely, ghrelin levels increase with too few hours of sleep. An increase of ghrelin stimulates the appetite and causes you to want more food. It’s also common to confuse the feelings of fatigue, sleepiness and hunger, and so you may turn to food to remedy all of those conditions.
Recovery and Weight Gain
Routine exercise pairs really well with healthy eating, especially when you add ample sleep into the mix. During exercise, your muscles incur tiny injuries. It’s important to get enough rest so that your muscles can recover. Your body heals best during sleep, so not getting enough can affect your performance level. During sleep, your body secretes more growth hormones than during waking hours. Growth hormones help your body build muscle, which can help increase your metabolism. With a faster metabolism you can burn through energy faster and lose weight!
Getting a good night’s rest can have a positive impact on your energy level as well as your waistline. Fit a healthy amount of sleep into your schedule every day, especially if you’re following a weight loss program. Ample sleep can be one of your best weight loss tools to combat lowered metabolism, fatigue, and weight gain.
1Spiegel K, et al. Ann Intern Med. 2004;141:846-850.2The National Sleep Foundation. Obesity and Sleep. Available at: http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/sleep-topics/obesity-and-sleep Accessed July 19, 2013.