10 Reasons Why Sleep is Important for Weight LossJuly 25, 2022
No one finds losing weight easy, nor losing weight regain after bariatric surgery. Losing the extra pounds will require more effort than anything. But what if you find out that you can lose weight with quality sleep too? You can give your body rest, and it will help you lose weight quickly. Many studies have been conducted to untangle the relationship between sleep and weight loss. After reading this article, you'll understand why sleep is important for weight loss. So, let's begin with understanding the connection between sleep and weight loss.
Connection Between Sleep and Weight Loss
Do you think that your appetite is linked to your stomach? Well, it isn’t true. Your appetite is controlled by the neurotransmitters ghrelin and leptin, not your stomach. Ghrelin signals your body to eat when hungry, and leptin signals a feeling of fullness after eating. The levels of these neurotransmitters are naturally controlled by the body to create signals for consuming calories.
Studies say that if you don't get enough sleep, ghrelin and leptin levels may rise and fall, respectively. So, you'll feel hungry often, and the feeling of fullness decreases. Your increased appetite will lead to weight gain. In contrast, if you get the required sleep, your neurotransmitters are balanced naturally, which helps in weight loss.
10 Reasons Why Sleep Is Important for Weight Loss
If your sleep isn't proper, many changes will occur in your body that restrict your weight loss goals. Here are some ways lack of sleep can affect weight loss:
More Release of Hunger Hormone
Lack of sleep triggers the production hunger hormone ghrelin, which increases your appetite. When you eat more, the extra calories will not help you lose weight.
Decreased Levels of Satiety Hormone
Leptin is a satiety hormone, and its levels fall when you don’t get enough sleep. Hence, you eat more than required, but still feel hungry.
Increased Desire for Sweet and Carbs Containing Foods
According to research, the desire for carbs containing foods and other sugary treats increases when you're not getting enough sleep. Sweet and carb-rich foods are one of the primary reasons why you can't maintain an ideal weight.
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center recently did research regarding insulin resistance due to sleep deprivation. It was found insulin resistance caused by a night of sleep deprivation is equivalent to that caused when you are on a high-fat diet for six months. When insulin resistance increases, you feel tired and hungry more often. When you lose control of your appetite, you reach out for more foods, leading to increased calories and weight gain.
Slows Down Metabolism
Sleep doesn’t affect metabolism directly, but it can affect it by decreasing your energy levels. When you don’t get enough sleep, you wake up tired with low energy levels for exercise and any kind of physical activity. As a result, you burn fewer calories, slowing your weight loss.
Higher Stress Levels
A disturbed sleep cycle affects your stress levels directly because the levels of the stress hormone cortisol increase when your sleep is disturbed. When you have more cortisol in your body, your appetite increases, and water retention occurs. Poor food choices are common when you're stressed because your body releases serotonin, which calms you down. It does so by increasing cravings for high carbs and high-fat foods, which will increase your weight.
Promotes Reward-Seeking Behavior
The lack of sleep activates the parts of your brain which are involved in reward-seeking behavior. You lose self-control, and it becomes hard for you to say no to your favorite high-calorie foods.
Fat Oxidation Decreases
You can see a quick drop in your weight when your body burns fats fast. When your sleep is disturbed, fat oxidation and metabolism are also affected. It becomes hard to get rid of the excess fat by melting and oxidizing it for energy. More fat stored in the body means more challenging it will be for you to lose weight.
Reduces Muscle Synthesis
A recent study reveals that lack of sleep can reduce muscle protein synthesis by 18 percent. So, if you’re working out to get biceps and build muscles, you first have to get healthy sleep.
Increases Chances of Unhealthy Snacking
When you stay awake for a significant portion of the night, the chances of unhealthy snacking increase. You're more likely to consume junk food stuffed with more calories, carbs, and unhealthy fats at night. Hence, adjusting your sleep schedule is a way to avoid unhealthy food items that hinder your weight loss goals.
Tips for a Healthy Sleep
As you know that sleep is essential for weight loss; here are some things that you can do to ensure healthy sleep during weight loss:
Make a good sleep schedule and stick to it. If you change your sleep time very often, it is hard to catch up on sleep afterward because of the changes in your body when your sleep cycle is disturbed.
Tammy J. Colter is an OH staff writer and has proudly served the ObesityHelp community since 1999, helping members and professionals alike. Tammy wears many hats at ObesityHelp, she works as an author, editor, and account manager. Read more articles by Tammy!