Still dreaming about your weight-loss goals? Diet and exercise aren’t the only things needed to lose weight—a good night’s sleep is essential for your weight loss journey.
One of the biggest mistakes that most people make is not sleeping enough. More than a third of Americans aren’t getting enough sleep (7-9 hours/night) on a regular basis. Yet experts agree that getting enough sleep is important to health and your weight as are diet and exercise.
When we don’t get enough sleep, our tired self makes poor choices as to what is right for your body causing you to choose fatty and sugary foods. Being tired can also make skip your workout routine and turn on Netflix while you binge on food.
How Sleep Plays a Role to Help you Lose and Maintain Healthy Weight
Too little sleep can trigger a cortisol spike. Cortisol is a stress hormone which signals your body to conserve energy to fuel your waking hours. In other words, your body is more apt to store fat. You will also feel hungrier and less satisfied after meals, and your energy will decrease.
Sleep-deprived people have reduced levels of leptin. Leptin is one of the hormones directly connected to body fat and obesity. It’s been said the primary design of leptin is to help the body maintain its weight. Lower levels can trigger huge increases in appetite and food cravings which causes weight gain, especially in the midsection.
Lack of sleep can also mess with your hormonal balance particularly ghrelin. Ghrelin is a hormone that is produced by the stomach when it is empty but it is produced in even greater amounts when you’re low on sleep. This is important to know because this hormone travels through the bloodstream to the brain, where it gives off a hunger signal. (Ghrelin is often called the hunger hormone.)
Your body burns fat naturally while you’re sleeping. by performing metabolic functions more actively than it does during the day when you’re awake. However, there are many ways one can promote a more effective, night time fat-burning opportunity.