Sleep and Weight Loss are interrelated! And if you thought, those who sleep more are likely to gain more weight you are mistaken.
Recent studies conducted in Canada and United States conclude that long sound sleep every night can actually help you lose weight. If you wonder how, the following is the scientific explanation:
Sleep and Weight Loss relation
During a good night sleep (seven to nine hours), the body produces ample weight and appetite controlling hormones such as leptin and ghrelin. And those who sleep less are having imbalanced amount of these hormones which result in more weight gain (or not losing any).
Leptin and ghrelin work to control feelings of hunger and fullness. Ghrelin, which is produced in the gastrointestinal tract, stimulates appetite, while leptin, produced in fat cells, sends a signal to the brain when you are full. When you don’t get enough sleep, basically the leptin levels go down, which means you don’t feel full and satisfied after your meal and you tend to eat more. Lack of sleep also results in Ghrelin levels to rise, which means your appetite is stimulated, so you want more food. Basically these two combined results in major overeating and hence more weight gain.
How much sleep is good sleep?
For a healthy adult, seven to nine hours sleep is what’s considered good for health – six hours every night being the bare minimum. Needless to say, if you are a 5 or 6-hour sleeper and you intend to work on losing weight, you have to start sleeping a couple of hours more from today. On the other hand, if you are already getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep, adding another half to one hour is not going to make any difference in weight loss.
How to get good sleep?
Well, good sleeping habit is something that you have to develop from the childhood. Basically, you need to train your body to automatically shut down or hibernate at the same time every day. The following are some tips that might help you achieve this good sleep goal.
- Go to sleep and get up at the same time every day. Don’t plan differently for weekends when it comes to sleep
- Avoid getting up by using alarm clocks
- Have an early dinner and leave at least 1.5 to 2 hours between your dinner and bed time
- Avoid having a heavy dinner and difficult to digest food items. Also, avoid anything that might disturb your sleep – e.g. highly gastric food or overload of meat
- Make the bedroom dark – Avoid night lamps and lighted display stuff. Also, maintain comfortable room temperature to help with a good sleep
- Avoid daytime naps
- Minimize coffee and alcohol intake especially before bedtime. Avoid smoking as much as possible and if you are a smoker avoid smoking just before bedtime. Never ever smoke when you happened to get up during your sleep
- Regular exercises help with good sleep but stop all workouts at least three hours before sleep
- A warm shower and a glass of warm milk a few minutes before bedtime is supposed to help with a good night sleep
- Totally avoid watching TV just before going to sleep. TV Channel browsing and excessive use of your computer/laptop, will definitely affect your sleep
- Meditate or practice Yoga to promote calmness of your mind and body and hence help with good sleep
I hope these good sleep tips would definitely help you improve your sleep pattern and in turn help with losing weight – if you were a poor sleeper before, that is.
Do you still wonder why they call it ‘beauty sleep’?