Most people around the world know that good quality sleep on a consistent basis is paramount for maintaining memory consolidation, mood elevation, immune function, cardiovascular health, etc. However, a large number of people still need to be made aware of how does sleep affects weight loss. People who sleep well at night have better metabolism and hormonal regulation- factors that are crucial for shedding body weight and preventing obesity. Let us, therefore, look at the 7 best ways that you can lose weight by maintaining good sleep health.
#01 Reduces stress
The relationship between stress and sleep quality is mutually dependent on each other. The better you sleep, the lesser you are likely to experience stress build-up and vice versa. A past study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information says that higher quantity of cortisol leads to increased abdominal obesity. Cortisol is a glucocorticoid stress hormone that can make it harder for someone to lose weight and much of the additional weight is stored in the abdomen. In some cases, individuals may develop a stress eating disorder where their body craves for junk food like chips and chocolates which are disastrous for your diet. A proper night sleep helps keep the elevation of cortisol in check thus providing the right amount of alertness required in the daytime to engage in activities that are a must for weight loss.
#02 Physical activity
Even though a restful night of sleep is important for the body to lose weight, individuals need to make certain behavioral changes in their lifestyle and engage in activities that facilitate weight loss. A good night’s sleep promotes muscle recovery, daytime alertness, work efficiency, etc., and prevents tiredness and drowsiness in the day. Your work out sessions and athletic activities are more fruitful at weight reduction when you are properly rested. Not only does such physical activity help the energy expenditure of the body but also increases the muscle mass of the body which in turn increases the resting metabolic rate of the body. A proper diet, a good exercise routine, and a healthy sleep pattern are considered as the three most important things necessary for weight loss and unsurprisingly, they are all interdependent on each other.
#03 Assists metabolism
Proper metabolism is considered as key for maintaining the right body mass index (BMI.) Sleep disorders like insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can lead to conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), heartburn, hormonal imbalance, etc. According to Inside Bedroom’s sleep statistics, GERD is recorded as one of the most prevalent causes of disrupted sleep among individuals that lie in the age group of 45 to 64 years. It is therefore important to maintain a healthy sleep routine as increased body weight may end up worsening the case of OSA and cause further disturbances. Sleep deprived people are also subject to experience a lower resting metabolic rate (RMR,) which is the total number of calories that the body burns while on rest.
#04 Prevents obesity
The increasing numbers of obesity and sleep deprivation among people around the globe seem to be increasing parallels. A good night’s sleep helps maintain insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance among individuals. This increases the body’s ability to break down insulin which when present in excess may lead to diabetes and weight gain. Consistently good sleep health is therefore essential to lower blood sugar levels and prevent insulin resistance. A study in The American Journal of Human Biology found a direct link between obesity and sleep deprivation as the latter causes the body to take in more energy than it can actually spend.
Quality sleep is essential for regulating the appetite of the body by controlling the hormones responsible for it- leptin and ghrelin. A lack of sleep, however, can heighten the level of ghrelin in the body which increases the appetite and decrease the level of leptin which reduces it. A hormonal imbalance can prove disastrous for the balance of energy expenditure and weight loss as the body continues to crave for food even after it is full in reality. Individuals who sleep less than the prescribed 7 to 9 hours are prone to experiencing heightened ghrelin levels and eventually end up building a poor BMI.
#06 Improves decision making
The brain of a person with good sleep quality experiences increased cognitive flexibility and is able to process new information properly. Such persons, therefore, are more likely to follow a diet rather than consuming junk food that helps in weight gain. Studies in the past have proved multiple times that a lack of proper sleep can drive people towards picking food items that are unhealthy for them over the healthier ones. According to a post published in Science Daily last year, sleep deprived individuals tend to go for food that is rich in calories and high fats. This inability to decide what kind of food you should prefer can be a serious impediment in the path towards achieving weight loss. Well-rested people are better at making crucial decisions that help them follow a proper sleep schedule and workout routine.
#07 Sleeping position
The relationship between the way you sleep and weight loss is much more complex than you would have imagined. Of all the sleeping positions, sleeping on your back is the best way to prevent acid refluxes and aid in the digestion process. If it is too hard for side-sleepers to adapt to this sleeping position, they may also continue sleeping on their left side as it is better for the blood circulation and reduces the risk of heartburn. Lying on your stomach however can lead to the accumulation of fat due to extra stress on your system and this position is, therefore, the least recommended for weight loss.
So, does sleeping help you lose weight, or is it just something that people say? The answer to that question is that lying on your bed does not magically begin weight loss but it provides the body the rest it needs to process the calories, presence of mind to make the right decisions and drive needed for living a healthy life. On the contrary, missing out on a proper sleep quality can make you feel too tired to do anything and lead to compulsive eating, thus accumulating more bodyweight. We hope that the points mentioned above help you understand the relationship between weight loss and sleeping healthy.