‘Sleep to lose weight’ may sound unconvincing, but there has been medical evidence to support the correlation. A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal suggests that lack of sleep contributes to obesity. The Canadian researchers pointed out sleep-deprivation to be one of the reasons for the failure in keeping with weight-loss regimen. They found that fat burning process in sleep-deprived individuals is slow; as a result, they gain weight.
[Read: Will Eating Better Aid Weight Loss]
How Sleep affects Weight
- Duration and Quality of Sleep – The duration and quality of sleep is closely related to hormonal activity. Unhealthy sleeping habits such as sleeping late at night or snacking after dinner have a negative influence on body weight. Pratigya, Nutrition Manager at Fitness First, says, “One must not stay awake 2 hours later than having dinner, as most people then end up snacking which leads to fat gain. But, if unavoidable , the best food to have are nuts like almonds, walnuts, a few groundnuts and roasted black chana and maybe a glass of low fat skimmed milk, avoid fruits as they will only make you more hungry.”
[Read: How to Break Habits to Lose Weight]
- Hormonal Activity – Two studies conducted by the University of Chicago in Illinois and Stanford University in California suggested that change in leptin and ghrelin hormone levels sets the tone for overeating and weight gain. The decrease in leptin levels is due to sleep deprivation, which also makes one feel unsatisfied after eating, thereby ending up binging. Ghrelin levels also rise with insufficient amount of sleep, which stimulates appetite and slows the metabolism significantly.
[Read: How to Balance your Hormones for Weight Loss]
- Poor Sleep and Obesity – A study by the researchers from Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, US, has linked obesity with poor sleep. After assessing 472 obese adults in a six-month intensive weight-loss intervention programme, they concluded that the individuals who slept for six to eight hours a night had a better chance of achieving their weight-loss goal compared with those sleeping less than six hours a day.
Sleeping to lose weight doesn’t mean that you have to increase/decrease your sleep, but make sure that you’re getting a good sleep every day. Besides ensuring that you are sleeping well, you must follow a healthy dietary regimen and engage in physical activity to maintain healthy body weight.
Even though studies have indicated that sleep-deprived individuals have the tendency to eat more and increase their weight gradually no study, however, suggests that weight loss is guaranteed with a healthy amount of sleep every day, but that improving sleep habits can be as a secondary factor to boost weight-loss efforts.
Read more articles on Weight Loss