When you want to lose weight, a lot of factors play into the process. Of course, a healthy diet and exercise is crucial, but another important aspect of weight loss is sleep. Unfortunately, due to a hectic lifestyle, people are not getting the amount of sleep that they need. According to DailySleep 30% of adults sleep for less than six hours. Moreover, a lot of evidence shows that sleep might be the missing factor for people who are struggling to lose weight. Listed below are the reasons that explain why good sleep is vital for a better and healthier body, and how getting a good quality sleep can help you lose weight.
1. Poor Sleep Increases The Risk Of Obesity And Weight Gain
Poor quality of sleep has been connected to weight gain and a higher body mass index (BMI). Some people have different sleep requirements but research has shown difference in weight when people get less than seven hours of sleep every night. Another study showed that a shorter sleep cycle has increased the chances of obesity by 55% in adults and 89% in children.
Moreover, sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, get worst due to weight gain. Plus, poor sleep can not only result in weight gain, but also cause the quality of sleep to decrease more. This vicious cycle is hard to escape but not impossible. Hence, a good quality sleep will prevent the person from gaining weight and decrease the chances of obesity.
2. Poor Sleep Increases The Appetite
Various studies have shown that people who do not get enough sleep have an increased appetite. This is due to the effect of sleep on two vital hunger hormones: ghrelin and leptin. The hormone ghrelin is released in the stomach and it is responsible for signaling hunger inside the brain. Ghrelin levels are high when you are hungry and your stomach is empty and low once you have eaten. The second hormone, Leptin, is released from the fat cells. It gets rid of the hunger and is responsible for signaling fullness in the brain. When the body does not get good sleep, it produces more ghrelin and less amount of leptin, which leaves you feeling hungry with an increase in the appetite.
A study consisting of 1,000 people showed that people who slept for a short amount of time had 14.9% of higher levels of ghrelin and 15.5% of lower levels of leptin as compared to those who got enough sleep. Moreover, the hormone Cortisol, which is a stress hormone, is also produced in high amounts and increases the appetite if one does not get enough sleep. Therefore, a decent quality of sleep will keep the appetite in check and aid in losing weight.
3. Good Sleep Helps In Fighting Cravings And Making Healthy Choices
Lack of sleep can change the way your brain functions. Hence, this might make it difficult to make healthy choices and stay away from tempting foods. Moreover, sleep deprivation can dull the activity in the brain’s frontal lobe, which is responsible for self-control and decision making. Plus, the reward center of the brain is more aroused by food when you are deprived of sleep. Hence, after a night of getting poor quality of sleep, a bowl of ice cream will appear to be more attractive and you will have a difficult time practicing self-control.
Moreover, another research showed that lack of sleep increases the appetite for food that are high in carbs and fats, so basically junk food. A study conducted showed the effects of less sleep on twelve men, when it comes to their food intake. The participating men were only allowed to sleep for four hours and that resulted in their calorie intake to increase by 22%. Plus, their fat intake also practically doubled. Hence, getting enough sleep will clear the mind and the person can make healthier choices when it comes to losing weight and maintaining a good health.
4. Poor Quality Of Sleep Can Increase The Intake Of Your Calories
People who do not get good sleep tend to eat more calories. This is the result of poor food choices due to the increase in appetite. However, it can also be due to having more time while being awake and using that time to eat. Especially, when one spends that time awake by being inactive, like watching the television.
Moreover, further studies have shown that those extra calories consumed were as snacks after dinner. Lack of sleep can also affect the ability to control the portion sizes while eating. This was shown in a study conducted on sixteen men where some stayed awake all night while others slept for eight hours. The next day, the participants finished a computer-based activity where they were required to pick portion sizes of various foods. The ones who were up all night picked larger portion sizes and reported being hungrier, with a high level of the ghrelin hormone in their system. Therefore, in order to avoid overeating and taking in more calories, a good sleep is essential when it comes to losing weight.
5. Getting Poor Sleep Might Decrease Your Body’s Resting Metabolism
The body’s resting metabolic rate (RMR) is the amount of calories your body burns when the person is completely at rest. Many factors go into the RMR, such as the weight, age, height, muscle mass, and the gender of the person. While some studies show that lack of sleep can decrease the body’s RMR; other studies show no change in the metabolism when it comes to sleep loss. Hence, more research is required in this area. For this reason, getting quality sleep is vital for the body when it comes to the body’s resting metabolic rate and weight loss.
6. Good Sleep Can Improve Physical Activity
Sleep deprivation can result in daytime fatigue, making it hard to be motivated in order to exercise. In addition, if you do end up exercising despite not getting enough sleep, you will just feel sluggish and won’t have enough energy during the whole physical activity. Moreover, poor quality of sleep results in the loss of muscle as well and the body needs that muscle to burn the calories in the body. Therefore, the body needs good amount of sleep in order to improve its physical activity and athletic performance if they want to lose weight.
In conclusion, in addition to having a healthy diet and exercising, getting a good quality of sleep also plays a vital part when it comes to maintaining your weight. Lack of sleep can change not only the function of your brain but also the body itself. It is a nasty cycle where the less you sleep, the more weight you put on, which further makes it harder to sleep. Hence, the cycle continues. Therefore, sleeping for at least seven to eight hours will regulate your body’s function and help in losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.