Sleeping Well Can Help You To Lose Weight
Sleep is a natural state of bodily rest and regular sleep is essential for survival. We have to sleep well because it is essential to maintaining normal levels of cognitive skills such as speech, memory, innovative and flexible thinking. Sleep plays a significant role in brain development.
Adults generally need 7 – 8 hours sleep a night, this can decrease as the person gets older. By getting sufficient amounts of sleep, this helps with alertness, memory and problem solving, and overall health. A lack of sleep can interfere with the normal hormonal functions of the body, which assist in weight loss and have a detrimental effect to your weight loss goals.
Getting enough sleep allows the body to metabolise food, especially carbohydrates, and stabilises your glucose and insulin levels, which prevents excessive storage of body fat. Adequate sleep is a contributing factor in successful weight loss and is an easy way to help boost your weight-loss plan.
The hormones ghrelin and leptin work together in regulating our appetite and food consumption and are a central link between sleep and weight loss. Ghrelin is responsible for regulating your food cravings and feelings of hunger, and leptin tells the body when to stop eating. When grhelin and leptin are compromised, the outcome is this vicious cycle of being hungry all the time and not knowing when to stop eating. A lack of sleep, especially over a long period, throws these hormones out of balance and greatly impacts your weight loss, even if you are eating well and exercising.
There is a link between cortisol, sleep and weight loss. Cortisol, the so-called “stress hormone” released by the adrenal glands, has received a great deal of attention because of its link to stress and weight gain. When you are not getting enough sleep, your body is stressed, which heightens cortisol levels. The body goes into “flight or fight” mode and stores fat, particularly in the abdominal area.
Eight hours of sleep each night remains the recommended amount to positively affect weight loss and your overall health. For a restful night’s sleep, minimise caffeine, nicotine and alcohol before bedtime. Avoid eating heavy foods and exercising just before sleep. Make it a ritual to unwind a half-hour to before you go to bed by doing something relaxing and quiet.