There’s a direct connection between weight loss and sleep. If you’ve been regular at the gym and eating a balanced diet but seeing no results, then a lack of quality sleep might be to blame. We all want to sleep more but very few of us know why or how to.
Let’s get into the details.
Why Is Sleep So Important for Weight Loss
We know that sleep is important for our overall health, but how does it impact weight loss? There is a big connection.
First of all, sleep impacts your metabolism. It can impact how you use calories. Secondly, it can also affect what you eat as a lack of sleep can cause you to feel irritated, making you consume unhealthy meals.
Metabolism and Sleep
Even if you are in control of what you eat, your metabolism will take a hit if you do not get enough sleep.
Here’s what happens to your body when you do not get enough sleep:
- Makes changes to the gut flora: The relationship between weight gain and the gut flora is not yet known but it’s believed that there’s a connection.
- Increases inflammation: According to this research, not sleeping enough or sleeping at the wrong time can cause inflammation and an increased risk of diabetes, which can make weight loss difficult.
- Reduces insulin sensitivity: Insulin sensitivity is defined as the metabolic capacity to manage carbs. When insulin sensitivity lowers, you begin to store carbs as fats instead of using it as a form of energy. This is also known as insulin resistance.
How Sleep Impacts Behavior and Hunger
A lack of sleep makes you more hungry. In fact, according to several studies, it can also cause you to eat more junk food. Sleep deprivation makes us irritated and pushes us to eat comfort food. Plus, it also increases sugar cravings.
How to Enjoy a Good Night’s Sleep
You should sleep for at least seven hours at night (uninterrupted) to get the best results. However, many of us either sleep at wrong hours or keep waking up due to one reason or the other.
It is important to make sleep a priority. Here are some tips:
- Schedule: Make a schedule and follow it. Know when to hit the bed and when to wake up. It may be difficult initially but you’ll eventually get used to it.
- Ban: Stay away from caffeine and electronic devices as they can keep your brain busy and prevent you from sleeping.
- Prepare: You need a soothing environment to sleep. Take care of the lights and temperature to ensure you can sleep peacefully.
- Consult: If nothing works or if you think it’s a medical problem that’s interfering with your sleep then consult with a specialist.
Some of us may be too busy to sleep. If such is the case, create a proper schedule according to your routine. You don’t have to sleep for 8 hours at a stretch. Some studies suggest that polyphasic sleeping patterns can be effective as well.
Diet: The right diet can be of great help. Paleo, for example, is said to be quite effective in weight loss and insomnia.
Say Bye to Stress
A lack of sleep causes stress but stress can also cause a lack of sleep. People can be stressed about everything from work problems to the need to polish their jewelry to financial issues.
It is important to control stress if you really want to enjoy a good sleep.
Work on a proper schedule to speed up the weight loss process. It may be a bit difficult in the beginning. Find out what’s causing you to lose sleep and things will settle down.