Good Night’s Sleep Essential to Weight Loss Efforts
The importance of a good night’s sleep on overall health and weight loss efforts cannot be underestimated. Humans have evolved over countless generations to sleep at least eight hours each day as our body requires a daily rhythmic cycle involving sleep to perform many essential repair and maintenance functions. When this rhythm is disturbed by eating late at night or when we don’t sleep enough, hormonal balance is disturbed and fat is stored rather than burned during the nighttime hours.
Sleep Helps Burn More Fat
The results of a study performed by the University of Chicago Medical Center and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine demonstrates that a sound sleep of seven to eight hours helps to burn twice as much fat compared with five to six hours of sleep. The study participants were on a reduced calorie diet with a goal of losing weight by reducing body fat.
In the normal sleep group, 55% of the weight loss was found to be body fat while only a quarter of the weight lost in the deprived sleep subjects was due to fat loss. In addition to a reduced calorie diet and regular exercise, you can compliment your weight loss efforts by making essential lifestyle changes that work in concert with your body’s natural rhythms.
Sleep Controls Your Appetite Hormones
Leptin and ghrelin are the hormones your body uses to switch the hunger sensation on or off. Ghrelin is secreted in the digestive tract to signal hunger, and leptin is produced in your fat cells and alerts the brain that you’ve had enough to eat. Insufficient sleep lowers levels of leptin so you don’t feel satisfied after eating and are much more apt to overeat. Poor sleep also raises ghrelin secretion, making you feel hungry upon waking.