How Your Sleeping Habits Affect Your Weight Loss Goals

Multiple studies confirm that sleep problems likely contribute to weight gain. Sleep problems include trouble falling asleep, waking up during the night, and trouble staying asleep. Sleep deprivation is also a factor that stands in the way of weight loss. So to prevent major weight gain and obesity, sleep problems need to be taken into account.

Dieters are usually most successful when they get the optimal amount of sleep -- about eight hours each night. Read on to learn why weight loss goals are so affected by your sleep habits and how to reform your bedtime to optimize your body goals.

Hormone havoc

Two hormones help control your appetite: ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin makes you feel hungry and leptin signals that you’re full. When you get too little sleep, your body changes its production of these hormones -- and not in a good way. Your level of ghrelin rises, while leptin diminishes. As a result, your body wants you to eat more, so sticking to moderate portions and lower calorie intake is that much harder.

Research indicates that people consume as much as 300 calories a day more when they’re sleep deprived. In most cases, this isn’t 300 calories of lettuce and chicken breasts either. These extra calories usually come from high-fat foods.

When you’re sleep deprived, your body’s production of endocannabinoids -- hormones that promote eating for pleasure -- also rises. Combine the increase in these hormones with a tired body and your self-restraint goes right out the window. It’s easy to undermine your diet goals with extra snacks and poor meal choices.

Fat storage increases

Insulin is a hormone that oversees your energy storage and use. When you’re sleep deprived, fat cells have a harder time responding properly to the messages that come from insulin. The end result? You’ll probably end up storing more glucose as fat.

Plus, insulin further affects your leptin production. When you become less insulin-sensitive, you make less leptin -- making you feel hungrier -- so you may eat more and gain weight.

Metabolic rate decreases

A lack of sleep also lowers your metabolic rate. This may be due to the fact that you’re just plain old tired, and as a result, move less -- consciously and unconsciously. When you’re exhausted, you’re more likely to skip the gym and your calorie-crunching workout. You may also move less all day long. When you’re tired, you take the elevator, find the closest parking spot, and sit a lot more rather than do your chores.

These reductions in movement add up, so you end up burning fewer calories all day long. When you burn fewer calories, even if you stick to your diet plan, the calorie deficit you create is less and your weight loss slows -- or even plateaus.

Create positive sleep habits

Make sleep a priority. Work on good sleep habits, including a comfortable sleeping space with blackout curtains, cool air, and quiet. You also benefit from reducing screen time from tablets, phones, and computers prior to bed. Rituals that help you relax before lights out -- such as gentle stretching, light reading, or a relaxing bath -- also promote good sleep.

Sleep your way slim, or at least support your weight loss efforts with good sleep habits. For other guidance on weight management, come in for a consult with us at New Hope Medical Clinic.



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