Does Sleep Affect Weight Loss?
Are you struggling to reach your goal weight? Well, weight loss can be a challenging task. But, did you know? A good night’s sleep can be as crucial as diet and exercise. While sleep is essential for our overall well-being, it also plays a vital role in weight loss. In today’s article, we shall unpack the link between sleep and weight loss. Read ahead for more!
The Connection Between Sleep and Weight
According to studies, India is the second most sleep-deprived country in the world, and obesity too is rising, where one out of four people is overweight. So, let’s understand the connection between getting enough sleep and weight loss.
Weight Gain Associated with Short Sleep
As Indians, we have always seen our grandparents and parents being super strict about our sleep cycle. We are always asked to go to bed on time and wake up early. And when it comes to binge-sleeping on Sundays, that’s almost forbidden. Well, they were right! According to studies, both short and long sleeping times can increase body weight and fat gain in adults.
In another analysis of studies, with almost 300,00 people, it was seen that adults who sleep less than 7 hours every night were at a 41% increased risk of obesity. It is also seen that short sleep could lead to the accumulation of belly fat and an even greater waist in circumference. So yes, the connection between sleep loss and weight gain is real. Hence, it becomes imperative that you enjoy at least 7 hours of shut-eye every night.
Sleep & Appetite
When trying to lose weight, having control over your diet becomes necessary. But when you are sleep deprived, it can increase your appetite and also lead to the consumption of more calories. In fact, this was also proved in one study. Here, it was found that people who went through sleep deprivation consumed almost 385 more calories per day.
You tend to eat more when you are sleep deprived because it increases your hunger, food cravings, chocolate consumption, and more. But is 6.5 hours of sleep enough? No, you need 7 to 9 hours each night.
Sleep & Your Food Choices
Have you ever woken up all sleep deprived? It can hamper your mood and lead to poor food decisions, where you start craving sugar and junk food. In fact, our brain becomes more stimulated by food when sleep deprived!
One study showed that people experienced greater reward-related stimulation in the brain when they looked at all the high-calorie foods and were also likely to pay more for their food.
The bottom line is that it can impact your choice when you don’t enjoy a proper shut-eye. It becomes more challenging for you to choose healthy food and resist cravings. Therefore, deep sleep and weight loss go hand-in-hand.
Late-night snacking is a culprit that can hamper your weight loss journey. But the craving usually occurs when you stay past your bedtime. Timely sleep and slim weight loss are possible. However, staying up late extends your eating window, especially if you have had an early dinner. And if you are already sleep-deprived, the chances are that you will opt for less healthy options. Also, late-night snacking is associated with higher BMI and weight gain. Therefore, you must finish your last meal 2-3 hours before bedtime.
Sleep & Metabolism
If you have a good metabolism, it becomes easier to lose weight. But when you deprive yourself of adequate sleep, it can decrease your metabolism. Your resting metabolic rate (RMR) is the number of calories your body burns when at rest. While it is influenced by several factors, such as age, sex, weight, and height, sleep duration can also be crucial.
A study with 47 participants saw how sleep deprivation affected RMR. Here, the participants slept for two days and then went through 5 days of sleep restriction with only four hours per night. In this experiment, the participants also enjoyed 12 hours of sleep in one night. The results showed that their RMR had fallen during the sleep-deprived period compared to the first two days of regular sleep.
But can you lose weight by sleeping? Not really. Whatever weight loss you notice is the water weight.
Sleep & Physical Activity
Does sleep affect weight loss? When you are already sleep-deprived, you feel a lack of energy that can make you want to skip your daily dose of physical activity. Several studies have shown that regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and enhance your sleep quality.
Tips for Better Sleep
Does more sleep help you lose weight? Getting adequate 7 to 9 hours and quality sleep is crucial here. So, let’s look at the tricks and tips for a better night’s sleep.
- Reduce your exposure to blue light in the evening as it can disrupt your body’s internal clock and reduce the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone.
- Avoid consuming caffeine late in the evening. Caffeine can take about 10 hours to leave your system, and its lingering effects can hamper your sleep.
- Avoid naps because sleeping during the day can confuse your body’s internal clock and make it difficult for you to fall asleep at night.
- Have a consistent bedtime schedule, as it can improve your long-term sleep quality.
- Make sure that the bedroom temperature is optimal. And if the body temperature increases, it can disrupt sleep.
- Have a de-stress routine so you go to bed with a peaceful mind, which can help you fall asleep faster. You can try some easy, relaxing techniques, such as meditation, music, massage, and visualisation.
- Take a hot bath as it improves overall sleep quality and also helps you fall asleep faster.
The Connection Between Sleep and Weight is true. When you don’t enjoy a proper slumber, it can disrupt your weight loss efforts and affect your overall health. So, with your diet and physical activity, make sure you sleep well!
Why is sleep important for weight loss?
Lack of sleep can lead to binge eating, poor food choices, increased hunger and decreased desire to exercise.
How much sleep do you need to lose weight?
Adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep to lose weight.
Do you lose belly fat while sleeping?
You don’t burn fat while you are asleep but as mentioned above, lack of sleep can lead to the accumulation of belly fat.
Best time to sleep to lose weight?
The ideal time to go to bed is at 10 PM and you must enjoy at least 7 hours of sleep to aid in weight loss.
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