Why is sleep so crucial for weight loss?

sleep and weight loss

It’s easy to skip or lose out on important sleep more often than you think. Whether it’s late nights out with friends, staying up to watch your favorite TV show or simply scrolling through social media…

Now, let’s be honest, ladies, are we really that confident we’re getting enough beauty sleep? The chances are, we’re not – whatever the reason may be.

But, did you know that sleep plays an important role in your overall health, and your body’s ability to keep weight off? It’s recommended we get between seven and nine hours each night, but of course, many of us get much less than this.

If you’re nodding along with me right now, thinking, ‘I don’t get that much sleep!’ you’re not alone. However, it may be time to make a change! As research has shown that catching less rest than recommended can lead to:

  • having more body fat
  • increased risk of obesity
  • impacts how much weight you lose, even on a calorie-controlled diet

Yep, that’s right, sleep can affect how much weight you lose. But it doesn’t end there, as not getting enough shuteye can also impact how much muscle mass you hold onto during a calorie-restricted diet. Meanwhile, further research has concluded that sleeping only 5.5 hours each night over two weeks resulted in less fat loss when compared with sleeping 8.5 hours each night.

The research above also revealed that catching up on those precious ZZZs on the weekend isn’t enough to reverse the impact of sleep deprivation whilst on a calorie-controlled diet.

Over the past few decades, the amount of sleep we get each night has slowly decreased. Alongside the quality of sleep. Crazy, right? For much of the same time, the average BMI of Americans has increased.

Sleep and appetite

So, how do sleep and appetite go together? And why is getting less rest associated with higher bodyweight? With an impact on your weight loss success?

Well, ladies, the answer is a somewhat complicated one. Our sleep influences two critical hormones for appetite in our body: leptin and ghrelin.

  • Leptin – This is the hormone that decreases our appetite. When leptin levels are high, we usually feel pretty full.
  • Ghrelin – Also known as ‘the hunger hormone’ can stimulate appetite.

Research has shown that when our sleep is restricted, our ghrelin levels are higher, decreasing leptin levels. This combination could increase a person’s appetite. During this, it would be understandable to find it difficult to stick to a calorie-controlled diet, leading us to overeat or snack a little more often.

Of course, in turn, this extra eating can lead to weight gain. In short, not getting enough sleep may lead to weight gain.

Also Read: 21 daily habits of healthy women

When we don’t get enough rest, our brains see food and food choices a little differently. Further research has shown that the areas of the brain that are responsible for rewarding us are more active in response to food when we’re tired (six nights of only four hours of sleep), compared to those of us who’re fully rested (six days of nine hours’ sleep).

If you’ve ever wondered why you’re more likely to snack when you’re feeling tired, this could be why!

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How does sleep affect metabolism?

Many of us don’t realise that the amount of rest we get can impact metabolism, mainly glucose (sugar) metabolism. As we eat, our bodies release insulin, a hormone that supports our body in processing glucose in the blood.

However, when we don’t get enough sleep, the way our bodies respond to insulin can be affected, reducing its effectiveness to process glucose. While the occasional night of poor sleep may be relatively easy to bounce back from, in the long term it can lead to obesity and even type 2 diabetes.

This is because an excess of glucose could be converted into fatty acids and stored as fat, which can lead to weight gain over time.

Fight poor sleep with exercise

exercise and weight loss

When you’re feeling sluggish and tired from a night of bad sleep, the last thing you want to do is exercise. Am I right, ladies? Well, despite your immediate response to feeling so tired, exercise may actually countermeasure against the result of poor sleep.

Also Read: The mental health benefits of exercise

While hitting the gym may not make you feel pumped with energy all of a sudden, it can have a positive effect on your appetite. It’s down to your ghrelin levels – remember those?

Studies have shown that exercise may help protect our metabolism from the impact of sleep deprivation by improving our body’s natural response to insulin.

Our top tips for a good night’s rest when you’re trying to lose weight

sleep and weight loss

Looking for ways to improve your sleep and support your weight loss? Well, ladies, you’ve come to the right place! Here are our top tips for hitting the hay and getting a peaceful night’s rest.

  • Get into a sleep schedule – A routine can be everything for getting to sleep at a regular time each night. Any big changes in your sleep schedule can affect your metabolism and reduce insulin sensitivity, making it easier for your blood sugar to be elevated.
  • Sleep in a dark space – Artificial light is a huge cause of disturbed sleep, whether from streetlights, your phone, TV or bedside lamp. Exposure to this type of light while sleeping is associated with an increased risk of weight gain and obesity.
  • Eat a while before bed – Eating late may reduce your weight loss success. Try to eat a few hours before bed to allow your body the time to process it.
  • Lower stress – Chronic stress may lead to poor sleep and weight gain in several ways, including eating to cope with negative emotions.
  • Get to bed early! – If you’re someone that stays up late, it can be easy to snack late at night, which can lead to weight gain. Try to head to bed at a decent time and get up early!

I think it’s safe to say that good sleep is vital for losing or maintaining weight.

Also Read: 6 easy habits to help you lose weight

A lack of sleep has been shown to increase our appetite, change our hormones and us more likely to overeat unhealthy foods and influence how body fat is lost.

Hit your goals with Zotrim!

Getting enough rest can be a struggle for many of us. With these top tips, you’ll be well on your way to hitting the hay and getting plenty of rest – while also losing weight!

But if you do need a helping hand, why not try Zotrim? Our 100% natural formula works to suppress your appetite and curb your cravings, so you can focus on your goals!

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Jane

Jane

Jane is our resident health, diet and wellness expert. She loves putting together articles packed full of the latest facts, science and advice from reputable sources within the health and wellness industry. If you have any questions please get in touch via our contact page.

Want to lose weight? Check out Zotrim

Why Zotrim?

Free delivery icon

Free Delivery

Natural herbal ingredients icon

Natural Herbal Ingredients

Vegan Friendly icon

Vegan Friendly

Money back guarantee icon

100% Money Back Guarantee​

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