Posted 14 April 2021 by

Ways Sleep Can Help

You Lose Weight

A good night's sleep can benefit your physical and mental health in a number of different ways. Improved alertness, better heart health, decreased stress and anxiety, and an overall good immunity are just a few of those benefits. However, did you know that a good sleep health can also help you shed extra weight?

As it turns out, researchers have long been studying the relationship between good sleep and weight loss. Numerous studies prove that people who managed to get an adequate amount of sleep consistently, found it much easier to lose weight. There also exist other researches that show that a lack of proper sleep can lead to obesity in human beings. Let us therefore look at some of the most prominent ways in which sleeping helps lose weight.

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#01 How the Appetite Gets Affected

A quality sleep helps maintain the right balance in your appetite. Your appetite is primarily regulated by two hormones- leptin and ghrelin. The gastrointestinal hormone ghrelin, which helps increase hunger in the body, gets particularly increased when the body is sleep deprived. On the other hand, the hormone leptin which inhibits the level of hunger and signals towards a full stomach, becomes drastically low when there's a lack of sleep. According to one Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study which observed about 700 subjects, those who slept less than 5hrs at night, had 14.9% higher level of ghrelin whereas the leptin levels were found to be 15.5% lower. We are all aware that overeating is s serious impediment to weight loss. Therefore, sleeping well prevents hormonal disbalance that can make you eat more than what your body requires.


#02 The Metabolism

A healthy metabolism is paramount for helping weight loss and keeping the body mass index (BMI) in check. The BMI is calculated on the basis of the total weight and height of an individual. It is the first step towards realizing the presence of excess fat in the body. A good sleep quality helps regulate the metabolism in the body which then facilitates the proper breakdown of food and drinks consumed throughout the day into bits of energy. Lack of enough sleep can affect the regulation of blood sugar in the body and lead to other complications that disrupt your night sleep such as heartburn and acid reflux. It is also important to avoid heavy meals right before bedtime to prevent the aforementioned conditioned.


#03 Effect on Physical Activity

Without proper sleep, the body is simply not equipped to carry out the amount of physical exercise required for your weight loss program. Sleep helps in the recovery of the tissues overnight and gets rid of any body pain. Therefore, going ahead with your daily dose of physical exercise without a restful night of sleep will only contribute towards muscle tear, fatigue, glycogen depletion, and further body pain. What's worse is that a sleep deprived individual finds it ever more hard to gather the drive required to complete a workout session. Carrying out other physical activities like outdoor games and aerobics becomes riskier as the chances of getting injured and delay in recovery increase severely without proper sleep.


#04 The Role of Sleep Disorders

Another major factor which connects weight loss and sleeping is the simultaneous rise in the cases of sleep disorders and weight gain all over the world. Sleep experts suggest that about one-third of the US population suffers from sleep deprivation and a major number of them have some form of sleep disorder or the other. This trend coincides with the rise of obesity in the country which has turned out to be a major pandemic. A growing body of researches have tried to find, over the last few years, the link between sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), insomnia, restless leg syndrome, etc., and obesity. The researchers have found that people with such sleep disorders were more likely to develop obesity. They also suggest that about 70% of the people who have OSA, also have obesity when their BMIs are measured.


05# Insulin Resistance

A sleep deprived individual can experience a shot up in their blood sugar levels due to a heightened insulin resistance. Not only does this promote further lowering of leptin levels in the body, but may also cause serious diseases like diabetes and weight gain. A good night of sleep will keep the cells from becoming insulin resistant and prevent the body from producing any more insulin than what is actually required.


#06 Stress Build-up

A major contributor towards loss of sleep is the build-up of stress in the body. People who find themselves stuck in the vicious cycle of stress and sleep deprivation, are often observed to be craving food that is high in calories, carbs, and fats such as oily or sugary items. Failing to achieve a good sleep health promotes cortisol buildup which then encourages the front lobe of the brain to find gratification in food items like chocolates, cakes, chips, ice-cream, soda, etc. Not only is this practice disastrous for your body weight but can also disrupt your sleep schedule by causing stomach problems that make it further hard to fall asleep. Most of these bouts of stress-eating are untimely and unrestrained.

It is therefore crucial to address the problem of stress and your sleep health to help the process of weight loss. Here are 10 simple steps that will ensure that you continue to achieve good sleep without fail are:

  1. Maintaining a healthy diet;
  2. Following a strict sleep schedule;
  3. Creating an optimal sleeping environment;
  4. Buying a new mattress- adequately firm and comfortable;
  5. Practicing bedtime rituals that soothe your mind;
  6. Exercising regularly;
  7. Exposing yourself to ample sunlight;
  8. Finding comfortable sheets and pillows that help to sleep peacefully;
  9. Avoiding sleep disruptors like caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine;
  10. Talking to a healthcare professional.


Bottom line:

So the answer to the question- "does sleeping make you gain weight?" is a plain "no". While oversleeping (above 9 hours) has been associated with risks of weight gain, practicing a sleep routine that ensures full eight hours of sleep is beneficial for weight loss. We hope that the above-mentioned points help you understand the significance of sleeping for weight loss and help you shed excess weight.


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