Did you know when you sleep, your body resumes all its physiological functions, albeit at a slower pace? Although you are drifted off to your dream world while in sleep, succumbing to unconsciousness, your interior organs still don’t rest.
Well, how will they rest when they have hormones and proteins to release, memories to store, cytokines to produce, and a lot of recovery and restoration to undertake. Sleep is regarded as the body’s recovery period. When your body doesn’t get a chance to recover and conserve its energy, it becomes overworked, resulting in metabolic disorder and weight gain.
Although there is no linear connection on how exactly sleep can affect your weight loss, it can be said that inadequate sleep is a catalyst for weight gain. In this article, we will explore how sleep can affect your weight loss.
What Is The Connection Between Sleep And Weight Loss?
Sleep must be the most mysterious human function that scientists are yet to explain fully. While you are sleeping, your body balances out hormones, conserves energy, and stabilizes the stress level. Your sleep routine can impact your metabolism and appetite.
Researchers suggest that a healthy sleep pattern can result in a positive effect on weight. While we cannot boil down the connection between sleep and weight to a simple one-dimensional cause and effect relation, we have explored the prime factors affecting sleep and weight loss.
Can Sleep Deprivation Make You Eat More?
Do you often stay up late and binge on snacks? It happens to everyone, and our hormones are responsible for it. Ghrelin and Leptin are known as our hunger hormones. Our body releases Ghrelin to signal us if it needs calories and releases Leptin when we are no longer hungry.
This cycle continues throughout the day. Whenever you don’t have enough sleep, your body releases more Ghrelin, making you crave more food.
How Sleep Affects Metabolism
Metabolism is the physiological process of converting your foods into energy. When you sleep, your metabolism can slow down to 15%. While this percentage is standard for everyone, sleep deprivation can affect your resting metabolism, lowering it even more than the normal, especially glucose metabolism.
Poor sleep can be liked to decreased muscle mass, leading to less burning calories through the muscle. This ultimately results in a reduced metabolic rate.
Sleep Deprivation and Obesity
Sleep deprivation is known as a catalyst for weight gain. Short sleep or fragmented sleep can also be linked to obesity. Research shows that sleep deprivation can increase obesity by 89% in children and 55% in adults.
Many factors can add to this result- when you are sleep deprived, you are more likely to feel exhausted and carve a cup of coffee or some sugary or starchy food for a quick burst of energy. Although you get momentarily energized by the food, you gain weight as your metabolism has slowed due to sleep deprivation.
How Sleep Affects Physical Activity
Everyone knows you have to stay active to lose weight. When you have poor sleep habits, you are more likely to slack off and be unmotivated to exercise. Sleeping is also the time when you recover and build up muscle after a day of exercise. If you don’t get the chance to build muscle with adequate sleep, your muscle will shrink.
Engaging in 150 minutes of regular outdoor exercise can tremendously increase your sleep quality. You can be more productive, energetic, and avoid daytime grogginess just by exercising and getting quality sleep.
How to Achieve A Quality Sleep Routine?
Having a quality sleep routine for significant weight loss is nothing hard to achieve. All you need is to be persistent and follow these methods-
Stick to a Regular Sleep Schedule
Sticking to a regular bedtime is not just for children. Adults also need this for quality sleep. Make sure you follow a regular sleep pattern that coincides with your body’s internal clock. And while you are at it, make sure to keep your devices away from the bed; if required, use an alarm clock instead of using your phone for waking you up.
Don’t Go to Bed Right after Eating.
Have you ever suffered from heartburn or indigestion after you woke up in the morning? It is likely because you had a big meal right before you went to sleep. Your stomach needs at least 2-3 hours to digest food properly.
Suppose you don’t provide your body this time to digest the food and go to sleep. In that case, your body will work overtime, be irritated, and revolt by displaying various symptoms, such as – heartburn, indigestion, or even nighttime asthma.
Create the Ambiance for Sleeping
Find a dark and quiet space for sleeping. If your bedroom happens to be on the street side, make sure you block out the noise by closing the window. If you have trouble falling asleep, try listening to some soft music or some audiobook before you sleep; it will help you feel relaxed for sleeping.
Wake up at the First Alarm
Don’t press the snooze button as soon as the alarm wakes you up. Try to get up at the first alarm and start your day as early as you can. Waking up early will make you more productive and more likely to follow a healthy diet.
On a final note, an unhealthy sleep pattern can trigger a vicious cycle -feeling exhausted, less productivity, unhealthy eating, and weight gain. While pulling an all-nighter and waking up early may sound heroic, it has toxic consequences; it can make you feel miserable for the rest of your day.
Sleep debt is bad for your mental and physical health; with sleep debt, you have to bear the brunt with hefty interest, and the more you try to make up for it, the more debts pile up. A lot of all these consequences are linked to hormonal imbalance and metabolic disorder. If you want to reap the benefits of weight loss and enjoy a productive life, don’t mess with your sleep pattern.
My name is Deborah Foster and I am a Weight Loss Coach with a background in Nutrition Coaching and Personal Training. I specialize in helping women and men break through the yo-yo diet cycle and lose weight for good, without being miserable in the process.