Sleep and Weight Loss
Sleep and Weight Loss
The secret to weight loss may lie in having a good night’s sleep. Most people don’t realize that not having enough sleep can affect our weight. New research suggests that adequate sleep can help people maintain a healthy diet. According to a study performed by JAMA Internal Medicine, getting an extra hour of sleep at night could help those who are overweight eat 270 fewer calories a day.
How Much Sleep Do You Need?
Sleep is essentially like nutrition for our brains. Seven to nine hours is a healthy amount of sleep for our bodies. If we get less than that, it triggers a cortisol spike which is a stress hormone that tells our bodies to conserve energy in order to fuel us while we’re awake.
What Happens with a Poor Sleep Schedule?
Sleep deprivation can affect our body’s ability to process insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to change sugar, starches, and other food into energy. When we don’t get enough sleep, our body doesn’t respond well to insulin, which causes trouble with processing fats from our bloodstream and instead stores them as fat.
How to Improve Sleep
If you are trying to lose weight, your sleep habits may be affecting your weight loss success. Poor food choices, decreased physical activity, and increased calorie intake are all effects of a lack of sleep. These can all lead to weight gain. However, there are several ways to improve sleep. Here are a few tips from the Sleep Foundation that can help with sleeping better while trying to lose weight.
Keep a Regular Sleep Schedule
A lack of sleep can cause changes in our metabolism and reduce our insulin sensitivity. It’s important to try and get 7 – 9 hours of sleep each night.
Sleep in a Dark Room
The blue light from screens can cause your brain to delay producing sleep-related hormones. Be sure to turn off the TV and any lamps when going to bed.
Don’t Eat Right Before Bed
Going to sleep earlier can prevent us from late-night snacking. Late-night eating can cause weight gain, higher BMI, and decreased fat oxidization.
Poor sleep and weight gain are often the results of increased stress. Focus on how you can reduce stress through out your day. This may include a night time routine or preparing yourself for the next day
Be an Early Bird
People with later bedtimes tend to consume higher calories which can put them at a higher risk of weight gain. It is more beneficial to your health to get up early rather than stay up too late.
Getting a good night’s sleep can make all of the difference in achieving your weight loss goals. If you need help with your sleep health, CCMH’s team of providers would love to help! You can visit our Center For Sleep Medicine for more information about how to schedule an appointment.
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