Have you ever wondered if getting enough sleep can actually help you in your weight loss journey? Well, wonder no more because you are about to find out!
Let’s explore the fascinating relationship between sleep and weight loss. This will keep you wide awake as you learn how catching your Zzzs and improving your sleep helps you shed those extra pounds.
Also, find out why your sleep could be making it harder for you to lose weight, and exactly what you can do to sleep better and lose weight easier…
The effect of sleep deprivation on your weight
Sleep deprivation has been shown to have negative effects on our bodies, including your weight.
When we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies experience hormonal and metabolic changes that can contribute to weight gain. One of the key players in this process is a hormone called ghrelin which stimulates appetite.
Lack of sleep has been shown to increase ghrelin levels which means you can have increased hunger and cravings, especially for high calorie foods. This is an important reason why lack of sleep makes it more likely you will gain weight.
Another hormone which makes you eat more
Leptin is a hormone responsible for regulating your feelings of satiety (feeling full).
When you are sleep deprived, your production of leptin decreases. This can leave you feeling hungry, even after you’ve consumed a sufficient amount of food.
It can then be easier for you to overeat and consume more calories, which means you gain weight.
Stress and your weight
Stress and weight gain often go hand in hand, and lack of sleep makes this relationship even worse.
Sleep deprivation can increase your production of stress hormones like cortisol, which not only affects your mood BUT can also lead to you having an increased appetite – Particularly for unhealthy, sugary, and fatty foods.
Also, being sleep deprived can make it harder for you to cope with stress, which makes it more likely that you’ll turn to comfort foods as a coping mechanism.
Comfort eating is a common problem for people who struggle with their weight, and stress and lack of sleep makes it even harder to stay in control with your foods.
Sleep and your metabolism
Metabolism is the process by which your body converts food into energy.
Sleep deprivation can negatively impact your metabolism, which can lead to a decrease in the number of calories you burn at rest. Then because you burn fewer calories, it’s easy for the weight to keep adding on.
Lack of sleep can also affect your insulin sensitivity. This makes it more challenging for your body to regulate blood sugar levels properly, and this disruption in your metabolism can hinder your weight loss efforts.
The importance of exercise on your sleep and weight loss
When you are sleep deprived, you are guaranteed to feel tired and lacking in energy. You will then do less activity through the day AND do less exercise.
Insufficient sleep also impairs how you are functioning mentally every day, making it harder to focus and perform well during your exercise sessions. This lack of activity and exercise makes it easier to gain weight.
On the other hand, when you get enough sleep, it makes a positive difference to your activity and exercise routine, which is a crucial component of weight loss.
By prioritising quality sleep, you can increase your energy levels, feel more motivated, and improve your exercise performance. You then burn more calories which helps you shed those extra pounds more effectively.
10 Practical tips to improve your sleep and lose weight
As you have learned, it’s clear how important sleep is for your weight loss efforts.
To help you get the sleep you need, and use your sleep to your advantage in shedding those extra pounds, here are 10 practical tips:
- Set a consistent sleep schedule – Establish a regular sleep routine by going to bed and getting up at the same times most days. This can help regulate your body’s internal clock and improve sleep quality
- Create a sleep-friendly environment – Make sure your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet. If you need to, invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows to enhance your sleep experience
- Limit your caffeine – Avoid consuming caffeine in the late afternoon or evening, as it can interfere with your ability to fall asleep
- Reduce your electronic device use – Reduce screen time before bed because the blue light emitted by electronic devices can disrupt your sleep patterns
- Practice relaxation techniques – Incorporate relaxation techniques, like deep breathing, meditation, or gentle stretching into your bedtime routine to help you relax and prepare your body for sleep
- Perform regular exercise – At least 3 exercise sessions per week is a good target to aim for to help your sleep, health, and fitness. However, try to avoid intense exercise close to bedtime, as this can stimulate your body and make it harder to fall asleep
- Practice good sleep hygiene – Establishing a relaxing bedtime routine can signal to your body that it’s time to wind down. Activities you may find helpful are reading a book, doing a jigsaw, having a warm bath, or listening to calming music to help prepare your body and mind for sleep
- Watch your diet – Avoid heavy meals close to bedtime, especially those high in fat and spicy foods, as they can cause discomfort and disrupt your sleep
- Limit alcohol and nicotine – These can act as stimulants which can interfere with your sleep patterns
- Manage your stress – Include stress management techniques in your daily routine to reduce your stress levels, such as practicing mindfulness, writing a diary, or engaging in hobbies that help you relax
Time for YOU to get some quality sleep
Sleep and weight loss go hand in hand, and you now know the importance of getting in the sleep you need!
Good quality sleep helps you shed those extra pounds and makes a positive difference along your weight loss journey. Sleep is also a vital component that helps with your overall health and well-being. So make it a priority to establish healthy sleep habits.
With the power of a good night’s sleep on your side, you will be better equipped to shed those extra pounds and become a healthier and fitter you.
Sleep tight and dream big about your weight loss goals because you are coming for them 😊
Other important areas that you must get right to lose weight are your exercise, your diet, and your mindset. To learn more about how to lose weight properly, and shed those extra pounds that are making life harder for you, join the BoostMyLife Online Program.