It certainly sounds counterintuitive to think that sleeping can help you lose weight. All too often we associate sleep with excessive tiredness rather than as an essential component of good health. In fact, sleep is often the first thing we cut back on when our schedules start getting a bit too busy. Unfortunately, the consequences are more than a bleary-eyed morning; a lack of sleep can really sabotage your weight loss goals. On the flip side, ensuring you get enough rest each night has all sorts of great benefits.
Gaining weight by staying awake
Sleep deprivation means averaging fewer than 6 hours of sleep each night. Doing this has been shown bystudy after study to lead to higher rates of obesity and weight gain. The reasons for this are numerous, including:
- Increased hunger: When you’re going about your daily routine, your body produces a hormone called ghrelin when it wants to let you know you’re hungry and it’s time to eat. When you’ve had enough, another hormone, leptin, lets you know that by helping you feel full. If you aren’t sleeping, your body starts making more ghrelin and less leptin, meaning you feel hungry when you really aren’t and you don’t feel as full as you should either. Coupled with the fact that unhealthy snacking increases during late-night hours, and you’ve got a surefire recipe for overeating.
- Lowered metabolism: When your body isn’t running efficiently, as a result of lack of sleep, your body doesn’t burn as many calories as normal. It boils down to the fact that you’ll feel more lethargic and less likely to maintain healthy habits.
- Added stress: One of the best parts of a good night’s sleep is unburdening yourself, both physically and mentally, of stress. There are numerous ways in which alleviating stress will benefits in your life. A constant state of sleep debt causes an increase in cortisol, the “stress hormone” that leads to numerous problems, including weight gain.
Losing weight by going to bed
One of the primary goals of Olumia Life is to use the interconnected systems in your body to improve each other. Just as it can affect how much weight you gain, sleep also plays a role in how much weight you lose. Getting enough sleep doesn’t directly cause you to burn more fat; however, it does make you less likely to engage in the activities which do.
Sleep and proper sleep hygiene help us recover from workouts and recuperate energy. If you are sore and tired, you’re far less likely to stick to your exercise routines. Regularly getting about 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night increases the likelihood that you continue engaging in healthy activities, the kind that help you achieve your health goals and maintain them long-term. Check the Sleep section of Olumia Life for more info and guidance on how to optimize your sleep habits for maximum benefit.