Could A Lack of Sleep Be Affecting Your Weight Loss Results?

Personal Trainer NorthamptonEveryone knows that to lose you weight they need to be more active.  But did you know that a lack of sleep can hinder your weight loss results?  There is now more evidence than ever that there is a connection between lack of sleep and weight gain.

Many of us know we should get more sleep, but we do not see it as having enough of an impact on our health and well being to actually make any changes to our sleep habits.  Here are some facts which may make you think again...

People who do not get an adequate amount of sleep are 50% more likely to be obese.  In a study of 635,000 people, adults who did not get enough sleep were 50% more likely to be obese.  Alarmingly, children who did not get enough sleep were 90% more likely to be obese!

Those who get more than 7 hours sleep per night are more likely to succeed in losing weight.  Not only did these people get a better quality of sleep, they were 33% more likely to succeed in losing weight.

Sleep deprivation causes your body to hold onto fat cells and lose muscle.  In a recent weight loss study, those who cut calories and slept less than 5.5 hours each night lost 55% less body fat and 60% more lean body mass than those who got 8.5 hours of sleep.

A lack of sleep stimulates your appetite.   Too little sleep decreases levels of the hormone Leptin, which signals the brain that you are full.  It also increases levels of Ghrelin, a hormone which stimulates your appetite.  This means you will feel more of an urge to eat and less satisfied when you do.

So, how many hours of sleep are you getting each night?  Could these studies be about you?  I hope you are now convinced you need to hit the hay a little sooner, so let’s make it a habit.  When you’re used to getting 5, maybe 6 hours of sleep each night and going to bed at 12am, it’s not always easy to suddenly move your bedtime to 10pm.  But by making a gradual transition, you will be able to get more sleep and solidify this habit.  A few things that may help with this:

  • Bring your bedtime forward 15 minutes each week to gradually train your body to fall asleep earlier.  This will help you avoid hours of tossing and turning brought on by an abrupt change in your bedtime.
  • Stop eating at least 3 hours before bed and avoid caffeine after 2pm.  Your sleep can be disrupted by digestion when you eat too close to bedtime.
  • Turn off the TV and computer!  They stimulate your brain and eyes and can keep you awake.  Stop watching TV or looking at anything with a screen about an hour before bed to “turn off” your brain.
  • Do something soothing.  Read a book, take a bath, etc. to relax and prepare your body for rest.
  • Set a consistent bedtime and wake up time. Form a pattern, and your body will catch on.

By consistently going to bed early and getting an adequate amount of sleep, not only will have greater success in losing weight, but you’ll improve your energy, mood, brain functionality, and overall quality of life!

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