What’s the Connection Between Sleep and Weight Loss?

Sleeping girl on a bench

It can be a difficult challenge to strip off the last layer of lower belly fat. That’s because it seems to cling to your body forever. You’ve probably come across different tips on the best diets to lose the extra weight. It is very likely that you are also taking plenty of exercises. This is supposed to boost your metabolism and help you lose belly fat. Nevertheless, you keep coming up short every time.

If your workouts and diet didn’t yield fat-burning results, think about sleeping! There is no question here that how you exercise and what you eat affect your success rate. However, you shouldn’t neglect other factors that also have an influence on your progress. Sleep is one of those factors for sure. Most people don’t regard sleep as a success factor though.

There are quite a few strong connections between weight loss and sleep. Let’s examine the fundamentals of that relationship.

Poor Sleep & Metabolism

As you may already know, metabolism is the chemical process whereby the calories get converted into energy. Research suggests that insufficient and poor sleep can slow down metabolism and cause it to work less effectively. This leaves more unexpended energy to be accumulated in your body as fat.

It is all about getting enough sleep. You also should make sure your sleep is restful and high quality. Keep in mind that oversleeping is also harmful. Sleeping too much may negatively affect your well-being. It gives rise to various health problems and increases the risk of obesity.

Increased Cortisol and Insulin Levels

There are numerous studies showing that poor sleep makes the body produce more cortisol and insulin. High cortisol and insulin levels put the body in such a state where the energy is stored as fat. Researchers have noticed that people who sleep poorly have higher early evening and afternoon cortisol levels.

Sleep problems can make you toss and turn all night long. After a sleepless night, you are going to crave carbs the next day. Sleep deprivation leads to impaired glucose control over time. Moreover, recent studies have found that poor sleep decreases insulin and glucose sensitivity. This increases the likelihood of developing diabetes.

Increased Appetite & Hormonal Changes

Ongoing sleep restriction is also responsible for some hormonal changes that increase appetite and hunger. In fact, it affects hormones which regulate feeling of hunger and fullness.

When you’re short on sleep, levels of leptin go down. This hormone is crucial to weight control and appetite, as it promotes a feeling of fullness. The levels of the ghrelin — a hormone that stimulates hunger — rise at the same time. A lack of sleep is also associated with an imbalance in serotonin levels. This monoamine neurotransmitter affects both appetite and mood.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, sleep plays an important role in losing weight. Exercise alone does not result in substantial weight loss. So make sure you are getting enough sleep every night and strive to keep the weight-sleep connection healthy.

Healthy sleep will make you think clearer and feel better. It will also help you recover from exercise and rebuild your torn muscles, thereby improving your exercise performance.

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