Lose weight by sleeping
The idea that sleeping more to lose weight might seem outlandish at first glance. However, it is a fact that the amount and quality of your sleep can affect your body weight. The reasons for this are various.
Being short on sleep
When you haven’t gotten enough sleep, it’s almost natural to drink a cup or two of coffee in the morning to get you started for the rest of the day. Being sleep deprived will also tempt you to skip out on exercising. You will also be more likely to eat junk food or go on eating binges. A lack of adequate sleep is not uncommon in today’s hectic world.
Your brain and sleep
When you do not get enough sleep, typically by going to bed really late at night, you are setting up your brain to make bad decisions. Decisions that include doing the opposite of what is needed to lose weight. When you don’t get enough sleep, your brain’s frontal lobe gets negatively affected. It is the area of the brain which is responsible for decision making and impulsive behavior. So a lack of sleep means that you have an exhausted frontal lobe, which means that you will be less likely to make good decisions during the day.
Another thing to keep in mind with regards to weight loss is that when you are sleep deprived, you are more likely to go for second or third helpings of junk food in order to feel satiated and satisfied. On the other hand, if you are well rested and not tired, then you will not crave anything more than a single helping of food.
According to research, people who go to sleep very late at night are more prone to eat late night snacks. The majority of these late night snacks are high in carbohydrates and fats, which is detrimental to weight loss.
Another study found that when you get very little sleep, your brain prompts you to eat a lot more than you would eat if you got the recommended 8 hours of sleep. According to various studies, it has been shown that a lack of sleep leads to cravings for high-fat and high-crab foods. So there is a clear relation between sleep and your eating habits, which is why sleep is so important if you want to lose weight.
Sleep as brain food
You can consider sleep as food for the brain. Getting a proper amount of sleep means sleeping between 7 to 9 hours every night. If you sleep less than 7 hours, you will be likely to eat more during the day, and thus void any benefits you may have gained from your weight loss methods.
The scientific reason why inadequate sleep impacts your eating habits has to do with two hormones. These hormones are ghrelin and leptin.
Ghrelin is the hormone that tells your brain when it is time to eat. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces more ghrelin, and as a result, you crave more food than you would usually.
On the other hand, leptin is the hormone that tells your brain that it is time to stop eating. When you get enough sleep, your leptin levels are normal and you won’t feel the need to overeat. However, when you are sleep deprived, the levels of leptin in your body will decrease greatly, making it likely that you will eat a lot more during the day.
By now, you should have a good idea of why getting less sleep leads to overeating and acts as an obstacle to your weight loss efforts.
Other studies have found that when people who were trying to lose weight by dieting were told to sleep less than 7 hours for 2 weeks, the amount of weight that they dropped from their body fat decreased by 55%. Even after eating a normal meal, they still felt hungry and exhausted.
Relation to insulin sensitivity
When you don’t get enough sleep for four days in a row, then your body’s ability to process insulin goes terribly wrong. When your body is not responding properly to insulin production, then it will have trouble processing the fats accumulated in your bloodstream. This will result in this fat being stored in your body, leading to putting on more weight instead of losing weight. So your metabolic system also gets affected a lot when you don’t get enough sleep and apart from eating more, you also start storing more body fat.
Some tips to get a good night’s sleep
In today’s world, light and noise is everywhere, especially if you live in a city. Apart from that, all the electronic gadgets you own are also contributing to your lack of proper sleep. Phones, computers, TVs etc all keep the brain alert and active at night, when it is supposed to be relaxed and ready to sleep instead. In order to get around this problem, here are some simple tips:
– Turn off your computer/laptop, smartphone and TV at least an hour before you are going to go to bed.
– Consider your bedroom as a place of relaxation and rest only, not for working and being active.
– Start a bedtime ritual, such as taking a shower before sleeping at night or drinking some green tea.
– Create a schedule and stick to it strictly. Go to bed and wake up at specific times and follow this routine for every day.
– Consider what you are eating. During the day, avoid eating rich and heavy meals and also avoid alcohol a few hours before bedtime. Also, avoid drinking coffee at least 6 hours before you intend to go to sleep.
– Finally, turn off the lights and lie down on your bed. This will start the production of melatonin in your brain, which is a hormone that induces sleep.
By now, you should be aware of the importance of sleep if you are trying to lose weight. Get an average of 8 hours of sleep regularly every night and you will increase the effectiveness of any diet or exercise plan that you are on and you won’t crave food as much as you would if you were sleep deprived.