Is Sleep Important for Health and Weight Loss?
If you've been trying to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle for a long while, but feel like you’re hitting a brick wall, there’s another question to ask yourself: how much sleep are you actually getting?
Sleep is equally as important as diet and exercise, but unfortunately, it’s something many people don’t get enough of. Many adults rack up a maximum of six hours sleep a night, which in reality, isn’t quite enough to be functioning to our best ability on a daily basis.
Interestingly, lack of sleep is one of the factors why many people may find they are constantly struggling to lose a little weight. They are eating balanced diets, with protein and vegetables, and exercising at least three times a week. If this sounds like you, you may be keen to read on to discover why sleep could be a contributing problem:
Sleep has an impact on what you choose to eat
There is a strong connection between your diet on a daily basis, and not sleeping enough. Many studies have shown that when an adult has over seven hours of sleep and is actively trying to lose weight, half the weight they lose is fat. However, when an adult is cutting back on sleep, the amount of fat lost can be cut in half, even when on the same diet as before.
Those who are lacking in the sleep department are also said to feel significantly hungrier and are much less satisfied after consuming meals. This also results in lacking in energy to work out and be active. So you can start to see why reduced sleep can lead to being less active during the day, and can disrupt eating habits.
Lack of sleep causes cravings
When we feel hungry and have cravings, it is usually two hormones which are responsible, called leptin and ghrelin. These both control our hunger in different ways. In short, the less leptin that is produced, the emptier your stomach feels. The more ghrelin hormone that is produced, the hungrier you feel, and your metabolism slows down. When you are sleep deprived, these hormones can spin out of control, tricking your brain into thinking you need more food.
It’s important to remember that sleep is vital for your overall health and is responsible for so many factors. Fighting cravings, making healthy choices, decreasing your appetite, speeding up your metabolism and enhancing physical performance are just a few positives to bear in mind. So remember, an early night is always a good idea if you can have one!