In the contemporary era, losing weight is no more transforming your body into an athletic physique, but more into a fit and healthy body. Everybody wants to achieve an optimum level of Body Mass Index (BMI). Therefore, to do so, they replace their meals with dietary and nutritious foods that enrich their bodies.
However, they often forget the essential and most important relationship between sleep and weight loss. Losing weight cannot be harder if you do not get the needed seven to eight hours of sleep every day. Moreover, the cycle of your internal activities also gets disrupted when you have inadequate sleeping hours.
Therefore, to lose weight rapidly and to maintain a healthy lifestyle, sleep. It is not the will o’ the wisp and it is not that hard once you hit your bed. In order to understand the effects of sleep on weight loss, you need to understand the sleep and weight loss relationship.
How does sleep affect weight loss?
1. Sleep and Appetite:
The neurotransmitters central to our appetite are ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin is related to hunger, whereas leptin makes us feel full. The levels of these neurotransmitters vary as per the physiology of your body, which either makes you want to consume food or deny it.
If you do not get sufficient sleep, the levels of these neurotransmitters start to fluctuate, which makes you eat more or less. For instance, if a man got 3 to4 hours of sleep only, he would face the malfunction of ghrelin and leptin, in comparison to a man, who has 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
Moreover, various studies say that irregular sleep can lead to individuals choosing junk food or food which consists of a high amount of calories. Your sleepy brain would not have enough control over the impulse to decide and say no to that one last slice of pizza. It gives you the feeling of being drunk as you have no control. Therefore, sufficient sleep is needed to maintain a balance between ghrelin and leptin.
2. Sleep and Metabolism:
Our body’s metabolism depends on the food we eat. It helps in breaking down the food and converting it into energy. Sometimes, due to lack of sleep, there is a cortisol spike in our body, which means your body is being signaled by the brain to consume more fuel for the time you will be staying awake. Now, this explains why most of us feel hungry during the night.
However, with the increase in the eating opportunities in the body, the metabolism reduces by 15% in the body. Therefore, with no breakdown of the food particles, they are stored in your stomach, in the form of excess energy, aka, fat. So, no matter how much you exercise or cut back on your food, you will gain weight if you don’t sleep for a minimum of 7 to 8 hours.
3. Sleep and physical activity:
Late night owls are certainly not early birds in the morning. Sleeping late at night means, waking up in the afternoon the next day or at least near to it. Although you make a point to wake up early the next day, you are bound to feel sleepy and increase your daytime sleepiness for your entire day.
This lethargy and apathy you feel may hinder all your physical activities, even exercising. So, if you are relying solely on exercising for weight loss, it’s time now that you also mold your sleeping habits and have sufficient amounts of sleep.
4. Sleep and Weight Gain:
If you think sleeping too much can make you fat, you may or may not be wrong. But if you think sleeping too less, can make you lose fat, then you are certainly wrong. Especially in children and adolescents, inadequate sleep and obesity can lead to malfunctioning in metabolic activities.
According to an analysis, any adult getting less than 6 hours of sleep will mostly be diagnosed as obese. Not only obesity, but it can also herald certain serious issues such as depression, anxiety and even restlessness.
Tips for a good night’s sleep:
Now that we are aware regarding the sleep and weight loss relationship, let’s try to have a good night’s sleep this time, with the help of the following tips:
- Say goodbye to your gadgets: In today’s world, human existence is literally impossible without the existence of any gadgets. We are not even exaggerating. However, we need to maintain an appropriate balance between what’s human and what’s a machine. So, to get a tranquil and peaceful sleep, put aside all your gadgets, at least one hour before you hit the bed.
- Maintain the bedroom decorum: Your bedroom can only be used for specific reasons. Well, we all are quite aware of those reasons. So, when you enter your bedroom, you should only feel relaxed, comfortable and peaceful. Don’t muddle it with work or stress.
- Keep a sleep schedule: Take some time off your work and create a sleep schedule, inclusive of the times you will wake up in the morning and sleep at night. Faithfully try to follow the schedule, so that your body quickly adjusts to it, and helps in increasing your metabolism.
- Bedtime ritual: What’s your bedtime ritual? A bedtime ritual helps you to create a routine before you sleep and once you get habituated with that routine, you will be able to get a good and satisfying sleep. So, you can probably have a warm bath, meditate for a few minutes and read your favorite book before sleeping.
- Control your cravings: No matter how hungry you feel at night, always avoid consuming heavy meals or complex drinks at that time of the day. Drinks like tea or coffee or foods like chocolate can keep you awake for three to four hours, not to mention the fat you will accumulate in the process.
- Embrace darkness: Last but not the least, don’t forget to turn off the lights. According to sleep and weight loss research, exposure to any artificial light can cause a spike in the chances of gaining weight. Moreover, in the darkness, your mind will release melatonin, which is naturally the sleep hormone in your body. This will act as a cue for your mind to go on autopilot and sleep peacefully for the night.
In order to maintain an impeccable bond between your sleep and weight, you need to follow these tips. So, have a good night, where the bed bugs don’t bite!