How sleep affects weight loss: Weight Loss and Sleep have a strong connection. Irrespective of the path one might pick for weight loss, it usually includes calorie restriction and increased activity. The logic seems simple – eat less and burn more to lose weight. And yet, while we may think it as simple math, the equation is rather complex. While eating right and working out are essential to weight loss, people often ignore a crucial element. And that is the humble sleep. Yes, the reason you are not losing weight inspite of working hours at length in Gym and eating like a bird. Most probably is that you are not sleeping enough. Also Read: The Best Time To Drink Milk, Know All About It(Opens in a new browser tab)
Weight Loss Journey – A strenuous task
Anyone on a weight loss journey would agree that it is not often enjoyable. Trying to lose those extra pounds could exact every ounce of will power in your body, leaving you exhausted – both mentally and physically.
More often than not people find their weight constantly either increasing or staying steady even though their diet restrictions and work out plans have not changed. Called a plateau by many, the time is associated with frustration, even depression and extreme stress. Some even report a climb back. Many people call it a vicious cycle, not realizing that perhaps all they need to do is sleep well. Also Read: Weight Loss by Green Tea: know when to consume this beverage(Opens in a new browser tab)
What is a good sleep?
Sleep is essential and anyone who has spent a night awake would attest to that. In scientific language, sleep is defines as a ‘readily reversible suspension of sensorimotor interaction with the environment, usually associated with recumbency and immobility.’ For a much simpler explanation – sleep is a natural phenomenon and is often associated with a state of rest.
There are volumes of research in the matter and more recently on the importance of sleep. Research has found sleep to be crucial for survival – much like food and water. It is during sleep that our body helps in the maintenance of the internal systems, performs its normal process of mending the wear and tear. From brain to muscles to hormonal balance, sleep regulates and managed all.
But merely sleep is not important. Adequate amount of restful sleep is the key – what is simply called as good sleep. And if you are on your weight loss journey – sleep is your best friend.
How sleep affects weight loss?
Sleep is crucial in your weight loss journey. Research has suggested that restricted sleep (not getting enough sleep) may in fact result in negative changes in metabolism – in turn leading to increase in hunger and appetite for calorie dense foods which are high in carbohydrates.
It found that people on restricted calorie intake and sleeping less also reported more loss of fat-free mass rather than fat- mass of the body. It was suggested that it happens as the body is not able to compensate for the higher energy requirement of a wakeful body which in turn results in breakdown of protein or muscle mass of the body to provide the brain with the energy it needs.
Another explanation for increase in weight or not enough weight loss and sleep is the relationship the latter shared with hormones that regulates hunger. It has been found that sleep duration affects the release of ghrelin and leptin – hormones that are associated with the feeling of satiety. Disrupted or less sleep may impact the release of these hormones, leaving a person feeling hungry.
Conclusion: If you want to lose weight – regulate your sleep. A good night’s sleep would help your body in more ways than one. Not only would it help in the resting and healing process, it would also help in your body achieving the best results of your weight loss efforts. So, sweet dreams!
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.