How important is sleep when it comes to weight loss?
Ever wonder why with all the steps you take to ensure a healthy lifestyle you still never lose a pound. Well, when it comes to overall health, well-being and weight loss it’s not only eating the right healthy food and exercise that is important. Studies show that sleep plays a critical role not only in ensuring optimal health but also a key factor when it comes to losing weight.
According to research, the lack of sleep may be a potential contributor to weight gain and growing obesity epidemic, as it causes disruptions to a number of hormonal and metabolic processes. In 2004, a research study conducted at the University of Chicago found out that partial sleep deprivation can lead to increased appetite as the circulating level of hormones that regulate hunger are altered by decrease in sleep. These two hormones, Ghrelin and Leptin are the key factors on why sleep affects our ability to lose weight. Ghrelin is the hormone that tells you when to eat while the Leptin hormone is the one that tells you to stop eating. If you are sleep deprived, your ghrelin increases while your leptin decreases which then means it increase your probability to gain weight.
While the study in the University of Chicago specifically looked at the effects of lack of sleep on young men, another study published by the American Journal of Epidemiology, confirmed a similar link of lack of sleep and weight gain on women. The study found out that women with less than 7 hours of sleep have an increased risk for weight gain and obesity.
If this is so, how much sleep do we need?
Most research agrees that for most individuals, 7-8 hours of sleep a night is optimal. Individuals with insufficient sleep or irregular sleep of less than 6-7 hours a night have shown to have an increased risk of developing diseases such as breast cancer, heart diseases, colon cancer and diabetes according to a report from the Harvard-run Nurses’ Health Study.
So, for individuals like me who lives in this busy world, now that you know the importance of sleep when it comes to weight loss, try not to deprive yourself from sleeping. It will not only give you optimal health, prevents you from developing different kinds of diseases but will also help you in losing weight.
If you have some ideas on dealing with sleep and weight loss, share them down on the comments section below, we would be happy to read them.