Sleep More, Lose Weight
O.K., I can’t guarantee that this one thing will make you lose weight, especially if you are not undersleeping, but if you are undersleeping, this one thing could be the very thing that is literally tipping the scale for you (pun intended) in the arena of weight management. How is this true?
It’s the hormones!
It’s all about hormones. Leptin and ghrelin are two hormones that work together to control your feelings of hunger and satiety. Ghrelin levels rise to tell your brain that you are hungry and leptin levels rise to tell your brain that you are full. Lack of sleep messes with these two hormones.
When you don’t get enough sleep the ratio between these two hormones is disturbed making you feel hungrier and less full driving you to eat more food, usually simple carbohydrates (the worst kind of food for weight loss). Not only do you eat more food in general when you don’t get enough sleep, researchers have found that we tend to choose the sugary junk foods more often, which contributes to our weight gain.
How much sleep is “enough”?
There seems to be a real difference in terms of these two hormones, leptin and ghrelin, and our tendency to overeat and become overweight when we get less than 7 hours of sleep. Researchers have found a significant difference in terms of things adversely affecting our general health and the ratios of these appetite hormones at amounts of sleep less than 7 hours per night. Everyone is different and some people may need up to 9 hours of sleep. There does not seem to be a benefit to more than 9 hours of sleep (unless you are ill or pregnant etc.), in fact some researchers have found that more than 9 hours of sleep can be detrimental to your health. So the amount of sleep to aim for seems to be 7-9 hours.
Need some tips to help you sleep better? Check out my previous post on this topic here:
Are you getting enough sleep? If not, has it affected your weight? Share with my readers below in the comments section.