If you desire to lose weight, the amount of sleep you get might be just as significant as your exercise and diet. Unfortunately, many of us don’t get enough sleep. About 41% of Australian adults sleep fewer than 7 hours a night.
Sleep might be a missing factor if you’re having difficulty losing weight. Here’s why getting enough sleep can help you lose weight.
Physical activity and sleep are intertwined. Lack of sleep decreases physical activity, and lack of exercise might worsen sleep. Regular exercise can help by reducing the time you take to fall asleep and even increase your overall quality of sleep.
Exercise also heats your body, which in turn responds by sweating. Although sweating doesn’t burn calories, losing enough water through sweating cuts weight. However, if you experience excessive sweating, it’s best to visit a doctor for a checkup.
Moreover, a lack of sleep might cause daytime fatigue, making you less inspired to exercise. In other words, you’re likely to expend fewer calories in a day when sleep-deprived as you would after a good night’s sleep. This makes it challenging to achieve a calorie deficit for weight loss.
Lack of sleep can also negatively affect your athletic performance by decreasing your:
It might also increase your risk of injuries and delay recovery. Getting ample sleep is the key to staying active.
Getting enough sleep can help prevent increases in appetite and calorie intake. A sleep-deprived person has an increased appetite and can consume an extra 385 calories daily. Sleep deprivation can also lead to significant increases in food craving, hunger, portion sizes, and fat and chocolate intakes.
The increase in food intake is caused by the effect of sleep on the hunger hormones, leptin and ghrelin. When you don’t get enough sleep, the body makes less leptin and more ghrelin, leaving you hungrier and increasing your appetite.
Sleep deprivation not only causes an imbalance in ghrelin and Leptin hormones, affecting your metabolism, but it also decreases the amount of energy required to burn calories. Instead of converting the excess calories, your body ends up storing more of them as fat.
Most people will know that sleep and your mood are inherently intertwined. Poor sleep might increase stress and make you feel irritated, while quality sleep can boost your overall well-being. But did you know the relationship between sleep and stress is as significant as the link between weight loss and sleep?
A study suggests that stress increases your appetite, heightens your cravings for unhealthy foods, and reduces your motivation to exercise. These factors hinder your ability to lose weight. A good night’s sleep therefore not only helps alleviate stress but can positively impact your weight loss efforts.
Most sleep experts recommend you sleep for about seven to eight hours, with studies showing both extremely long- and short-duration sleepers being 30% more likely to gain more weight than average sleepers.
Try these five tips to get enough sleep:
Now that you know how sleep affects your ability to maintain a healthy weight, take action to improve your sleep quality. You’ll get more sleep when you make time for it. Quality sleep also goes hand in hand with regular exercise and proper dieting. It’s why we call it the third pillar of health.
ResMed is a global leader in sleep technology that has its origins right here in Australia. Our goal is to provide people with the means to awaken their best and enjoy healthier lives by promoting good sleep habits and creating awareness for sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.
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