Eating right and regular exercise play a significant role in sustaining a healthy body weight. However, inadequate sleep can lead to weight gain, even if you are on a weight-loss regimen. There’s a strong link between obesity and insufficient sleep, thus the need to make proper sleep a priority. Research indicates that the less you sleep, the more you’re likely to weigh. Similarly, when you sleep less, you’re likely to gain more weight over time.
You should regard sleep as the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. A good night’s sleep should last at least 7 hours. This helps to support the mental clarity, higher energy levels, better moods, and a more robust immune system to aid your weight-loss goals. Here’s why a good night sleep is important to those who are trying to lose weight.
Sleeping Well Improves Your Metabolism
The body converts calories into energy through metabolism. Extensive research has shown that individuals who sleep less have low metabolic rates. If your body struggles to break down calories effectively, more unexpended energy will be left behind in the form of fat. As the fat piles, you’ll undoubtedly gain weight.
Inadequate Sleep Increases Your Appetite
Sleeping poorly causes changes in your body’s hormonal imbalance. The production of ghrelin, a hunger-regulating hormone, will increase. Conversely, the production of leptin, a hormone that suppresses hunger, will decline. When this happens, you’re likely to feel hungry less often, thus causing you to eat frequently.
Poor sleep also leads to a change in serotonin levels in the body. This is a neurotransmitter that influences both your moods and appetite. An increase in cortisol level intensifies the need for serotonin. This causes you to have a craving for carbs and fat, which are two types of food that cause a release of serotonin.
Sleep Deprivation Leads to Poor Food Choices
As you embark on a healthy diet plan, you should combine weight loss with a good night sleep. When you develop the habit of sleeping for fewer hours, you’ll develop a craving for starchy carbohydrates, sugar, and fat. Besides, the possibility of snacking late at night will be high.
Few people exercise at night. When you consume a lot of calories at night, it will be harder to control your weight since these calories will get stored in the body as fat rather than getting burned for energy. Inadequate sleep can also increase stress levels, something that can trigger unhealthy eating habits.
Poor Sleep Affects Your Workout Routine
Working out is the go-to option for many people who are looking to lose weight. After exercising, the body needs plenty of rest to rejuvenate. When you sleep well, the body gets enough time to recover from the day’s workouts. You’ll wake up fresh and ready to exercise once more. On the other hand, poor sleep will make you feel lazy and tired when you wake up.
By sleeping less, you will feel less motivated to engage in physical activities, and if you embark on a workout, you will feel tired after a short time. There’s also a psychological connection between your sleeping pattern and your workout regimen. If you have the discipline to go to bed early, you’re also likely to have the discipline to stick to a workout regimen. This will ultimately help you to lose weight.
How to Improve Your Sleep
Since losing weight starts with proper sleep, here’s how you can get the much-needed sleep and shed off those extra pounds.
Choose a Good Mattress
Undoubtedly, it’s difficult to sleep well if you have a poor quality mattress. You need a mattress that helps you to sleep quicker and also leaves you better rested in the morning. Before you purchase a mattress, consult a buying guide so that you identify brands that suit you best.
Avoid Nighttime Stress
At the end of a long day, it’s normal to reflect on your day. However, you shouldn’t allow this to overshadow your body’s need for sleep. If you start stressing yourself too much at night, it will be harder to fall asleep. Therefore, try as much as possible to avoid nighttime stress so that you get a good night’s sleep.
Track Your Sleep
You can only create a sleeping pattern for yourself once you find a way of tracking your sleep. There are dozens of tools that can help you track your sleep and give you an idea about your sleep quality. These tools track parameters such as the number of times that you toss and turn in bed, and give you a sleep score. Some even come with noise-reduction earplugs for blocking noises that make it difficult for you to fall asleep.
There are dozens of reasons why a good night’s sleep is essential to someone who’s on a weight-loss journey. Nonetheless, you should also keep in mind that oversleeping is also detrimental to a healthy lifestyle.