I have always known the value of sleep for weight loss. I have a good friend who, like myself, put on weight over the past few years. But hers began falling off a few months ago. My friend has an ongoing respiratory infection that she hasn’t been able to shake, and it has made her tired. She began sleeping 14 hours (or more) a day. The more she has been sleeping, the skinnier she is getting. She told me that the moment she started to sleep long hours, she began to lose the weight effortlessly.
Sleep is important for weight loss, as well as general health. I can almost pinpoint the day I started to gain weight. A very stressful incident happened to me. My lifelong habit of sleeping like a baby came to an end. That was 2 years ago this month.
Why Sleep Helps With Weight Loss
One of the more obvious reasons sleep helps with weight loss is that a tired person tends to eat more than a rested one. Numerous studies have shown that sleep-deprived people don’t just eat more food, they tend to eat high carbohydrate and sugary foods for that rush (though short-lived) of energy.
Lack of sleep interferes with hormone production. There are two appetite hormones called leptin and ghrelin which are made primarily during sleep. Leptin is produced by your body’s fat cells and is responsible for suppressing hunger. Ghrelin is released by your stomach and stimulates appetite A lack of sleep lowers leptin and increases ghrelin. You will be hungrier and have a bigger appetite.
Growth hormones help the body build muscle, repair and rejuvenate tissue while sleeping. A body that is deficient on sleep will build less muscle. Because muscle burns calories, less will be burned.
Insulin sensitivity is another factor in weight gain. A reduction in insulin sensitivity means that the body will store more fat.
Cortisol, the body’s “stress” hormone is over produced during times of mental or physical stress. Sleep deprivation is a form of physical stress. High levels of cortisol in the body will slow down metabolism. It will also interfere with the body’s ability to build muscle mass.
Sleep Sleep Sleep
If you want to lose weight, you must sleep well. Quality of sleep is very important. If you are not waking up rested, you are not getting enough sleep.
If you are not able to sleep well, there are many natural supplements available to help with this. It may require trying a few different products to see which works best for your body. The mineral, magnesium, and the amino acid, L-tryptophan, have helped a lot of people.
If you want to sleep well, you must stop worrying. I am not being glib when I say this. I was in a high state of anxiety for almost 2 years. It has been a gradual process, but I have forced myself to calm down. The minute I stopped worrying, the better my sleep (and life) became. It takes daily affirmations to maintain this state of mind, but it is working. My sleep has greatly improved, and the weight gain has ceased.
Go forth and sleep like a baby.
To Your Health!