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Why sleep matters when it comes to weight loss

sleep and weight loss

We all know that if we want to shed a few pounds, we should be watching what we eat and how much exercise we’re getting, right?

But did you know that a good night’s sleep is also essential for keeping your body healthy and keeping the weight off? The recommended amount of sleep is 7-9 hours a night, although many of us sleep less than this.

Although, research has revealed that sleeping less than the recommended amount can lead to:

– more body fat

– increased obesity risks

– difficulty losing weight, even when on a calorie-controlled diet

But that’s not all. It can also impact how much muscle mass you hold onto and build. Another study has shown that sleeping for only 5.5 hours a night over two weeks resulted in less fat loss than those sleeping 8.5 hours each night. Plus, catching up with your beauty sleep on the weekend isn’t enough to reverse the impact of sleep deprivation when on a diet.

Over the last 30-40 years, the amount of quality sleep we’re getting each night has steadily decreased. Over this time, the average Body Mass Index of Americans has increased.

How does sleep affect your appetite?

You’re probably wondering: why does shorter sleep impact weight loss? Well, there are a few reasons for this, and it’s all about how our sleep affects our metabolism, appetite, and food choices.

Also Read: 6 easy habits to help you lose weight

Our sleep influences two vital hormones for appetite in our body: ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin, often referred to as ‘the hunger hormone’, is a hormone that stimulates your appetite. Whilst leptin decreases your appetite, so when our leptin levels are high, we tend to feel fuller.

Thanks to recent research, we know that sleep deprivation increases our ghrelin and decreases leptin. This combination is brutal on our weight loss goals! It could increase your appetite, which would make it more challenging to stick to a diet, potentially leading to overeating. And so, over the long term, it could result in weight gain.

As well as this, poor sleep has also been revealed to impact our food choices because of the way our brains see food when they’re tired. Research has shown that the parts of the brain that are responsible for reward are much more active and respond to food when we’re tired. Especially compared to when we’re fully rested. This could explain why we’re more likely to reach for chips and chocolate when we’re tired.

How does sleep impact our metabolism?

As well as our appetites, how much sleep we’re getting could also impact our metabolism. In particular, our glucose (sugar) metabolism. When we eat, our bodies release insulin, a hormone that helps break down and process the glucose in our blood. However, poor sleep can impact our bodies response to insulin and make it less effective.

Also Read: The best way to get rid of love handles

Whilst we might be able to handle the occasional poor night of sleep, long term, this could result in health conditions such as type 2 diabetes and obesity. This is because an excess of glucose could be converted into fatty acids and stored as fat.

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Combatting poor sleep with exercise

After a poor night of sleep, none of us are running to the gym, right? However, it’s been shown that exercise could act as a countermeasure against the effects of poor sleep. This is because physical activity has a positive impact on your appetite, reduces ghrelin levels and increases the levels of peptide YY, a hormone associated with feeling full.

In addition, research has also shown that physical activity may help protect our metabolism from the impact of sleep deprivation by improving our natural response to insulin. However, it’s still not fully clear whether exercise is enough to combat the effects of long-term sleep deprivation.

Tips for improving your sleep when you’re trying to lose weight

better sleep tips

We’d probably all like to sleep better, right, ladies? Well, you’re in luck because there are many ways to improve the amount of sleep you get each night and the quality of that sleep.

Also Read: How exercise can boost your mental health

If you’re trying to lose weight, here are our top tips for sleeping better:

  • Create a routine for sleep – any significant changes in your sleep routine can cause changes in your metabolism and reduce your insulin sensitivity, meaning it’ll be easier for your blood sugar to rise.
  • Avoid screens before bed – we all know the damage of looking at our screen before bed, but it doesn’t stop us from doing it! But did you know, exposure to artificial light while sleeping or trying to get to sleep is associated with an increased risk of weight gain and obesity?
  • Don’t eat before bed – make sure your dinner is a few hours before going to bed. Eating late may reduce your successful weight loss attempts.
  • Reduce stress – we know it’s not easy to completely get rid of stress in your life, but chronic stress may lead to poor sleep and weight gain.
  • Become an early bird – early birds are more likely to maintain weight loss, whilst people with later bedtimes may consume more calories and be at a higher risk for weight gain.

There’s still ongoing debate and lots of research into the relationship between sleep and weight gain. However, the current research points to a positive correlation between quality sleep and a healthy BMI. However, good sleep is essential. A lack of sleep has been shown to increase our appetite, impact our hormones and make us more likely to overeat. Therefore, alongside a healthy diet and physical activity, you should make your beauty sleep a priority!

Ready to sleep better and lose weight?

motivation to exercise

Now you know how important sleep is to your weight loss and healthy living goals, you’re ready to go, ladies! We believe in you and know you’ve got this.

But if you do need a helping hand, that’s okay, too. That’s exactly why we created PhenGold. Its multi-action formula works to boost your body’s natural fat-burning ability whilst helping you curb your cravings and enhance your energy and metabolism. Smash it, ladies!

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Written by PhenGold

Written by PhenGold

We research and write articles about health, fitness and dieting. Each of our articles includes sources from scientific studies where possible.

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