Are you trying to lose weight? Making sure that you get enough sleep is crucial to achieving this aim. So snuggle up and catch some Z’s to see those pounds fall away from your waistline.
The Link Between Sleep Deprivation and Weight Gain
When we do not sleep well, our body secretes more of a hormone known as ghrelin. Ghrelin prompts us to crave fatty, sugary foods. If you have ever pulled an all-nighter and found yourself desperate for a doughnut or a fry up, then ghrelin is what is behind it. Sleep deprivation, in general, can leave us feeling stressed and lacking in energy and motivation which can prompt us to cheer ourselves up and seek a burst of quick fix energy by consuming sugary, fatty foods. When we do not sleep well, our metabolism slows down which is also a factor associated with weight gain.
A final important element to bear in mind is that when we do not sleep well, our body produced less of the hormone leptin. Leptin is also known as the ‘satiety hormone,’ which makes us feel naturally full after we have eaten a meal. When we are sleep deprived, the absence of adequate levels of leptin means that we continue feeling hungry long after we have eaten enough food to keep us going. As a result, we consume more calories than we need.
Good Sleep: Less Ghrelin, More Leptin, And A Trimmer Waist Line
When we do sleep enough (between 6 and 8 hours a night for adults), our body produces less ghrelin, stemming our cravings for sugary and fatty treats. Also, our bodies will produce the right amount of leptin so that we will feel sated after we have had a meal. When we have slept well, we tend to feel calmer, balanced and in control, will all the energy that we need to get through the day. These psychological factors make it much easier for us to eat healthily and to regulate our actions and our snacking habits. All of this makes a good night’s sleep highly conducive to weight loss.
Optimise Your Chances of Weight Loss with These Tips for A Good Night’s Sleep
Creating a calm, dark, restful atmosphere in your bedroom is perfect for getting the 6-8 hours of sleep that all adults need. A CD of soporific sounds or a good book can be very helpful for nodding off, as can scents such as lavender and chamomile. Stress can be one of the most potent factors causing us to lose sleep, so removing stressful stimuli in the hour or two before bed will help you. That might mean switching off your work emails by 8 pm, or it might mean ensuring that you have talked through all of your worries with your partner, or writing them down before you tuck yourself into bed for the night.