When it comes to losing weight and keeping it off, both can be difficult. Medical professionals are still trying to figure out the complex relationship between sleep and body weight, but some evidence suggests that getting enough sleep can help you lose weight and that sleep deprivation can harm your health.
The Connection Between Sleep and Weight
The quantity of time spent sleeping by Americans has progressively dropped over the past few decades, as has the quality of that sleep. Americans’ average body mass index (BMI) has risen during most of the same time period, indicating an upward trend in weight and an increase in obesity rates.
Many studies began to postulate about possible links between weight and sleep as a result of these developments. Sleep deprivation and poor quality have been linked to an increased risk of obesity and other long-term health problems, according to numerous research.
The medical world is still debating the exact nature of this association, but available evidence shows that excellent sleep is linked to a healthy weight.
There’s still a lot to learn about the complex relationship between sleep and body weight. As we learn more about the link between weight and sleep and our ability to lose weight, we expect that this will lead to less obesity and better techniques of weight loss.
Can Lack of Sleep Increase Appetite?
Sleep deprivation has been proposed as a possible link between obesity and the inability to control one’s appetite when asleep. Neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers that allow neurons (nerve cells) to connect with one another, influence hunger, not stomach grumbling.
Addiction is hypothesized to be influenced by the neurotransmitters ghrelin and leptin. Leptin helps you feel full, whereas ghrelin encourages hunger. Throughout the day, the body’s neurotransmitter levels naturally rise and fall, signifying a need to ingest calories.
These neurotransmitters may be affected by a lack of sleep. Males who slept for four hours less per night had higher levels of ghrelin and lower levels of leptin than men who slept for ten hours per night. People who are sleep-deprived may experience an imbalance in the hormones ghrelin and leptin, which could contribute to an increase in hunger and a decrease in their sense of fullness.
Several studies have also found that sleep deprivation affects one’s appetite. Sleep-deprived people are more likely to eat high-calorie and high-carbohydrate diets.
Some sleep aids target a neurotransmitter called orexin, which has been hypothesized to play a role in the relationship between sleep and increased eating.
According to several scientists, the association between sleep and neurotransmitter dysregulation is complex and more research is required in this area.
Does Sleep Increase Metabolism?
It is through the metabolic process that food and liquids are transformed into the energy our bodies require to function. Everything we do, from breathing to exercising, is part of our metabolic process. Sleep, on the other hand, has no effect in elevating the metabolism temporarily. During sleep, the metabolism slows by 15%, and it reaches its lowest point in the morning.
Sleep deprivation (whether through self-induction, insomnia, untreated sleep apnea, or other sleep problems) frequently results in metabolic dysregulation, as numerous studies have demonstrated. Increased levels of oxidative stress, glucose intolerance (a precursor to diabetes), and insulin resistance are all linked to insufficient amounts of quality sleep. Sleep deprivation may contribute to weight gain by increasing the number of opportunities to consume and disrupting circadian rhythms.
How is Sleep Related to Physical Activity?
Sleep deprivation can result in a lack of energy for physical activity and exercise. Sports and exercise can be less safe when you’re fatigued, especially if you’re doing things like weightlifting or needing to maintain your balance. While scientists are still trying to figure out how exercise affects weight reduction and overall health, it’s a well-known fact.
Regular exercise, especially in the presence of natural light, can improve one’s quality of sleep. It is possible that even a brief stroll during the day will help you sleep better, but it is more likely that greater movement would have a more significant influence. The ability to concentrate during the day and reduce daytime sleepiness can both be improved by performing 150 minutes of moderate activity per week or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise per week.
Sleep and Obesity
Obesity is associated with insufficient sleep in children and adolescents, although the explanation for this association is still up for debate. It’s been shown that youngsters who don’t get enough sleep have higher intakes of sugary, salty, fatty, and starchy foods like those mentioned previously.
Research on the effects on adults is less conclusive. People who sleep less than six hours a night are more likely to be categorized as fat, according to a major review of previous studies, although it is difficult for these studies to identify cause and effect. An increased risk of sleep-disrupting conditions, such as snoring, can be caused by obesity itself. In this research, it’s not obvious if participants’ inability to sleep is linked to their obesity, or if obesity itself is the root of their sleep deprivation. Even though additional research is needed, experts recommend enhancing sleep quality while treating obesity in adults.
Sleep During Weight Loss
A healthy weight loss plan necessitates a sufficient amount of sound sleep. Most crucially, studies have shown that dieting when sleep-deprived might result in less weight loss and more overeating in the long term.
Tips for Quality Sleep During Weight Loss
The best way to get a good night’s sleep is to experiment with different methods. When you’re attempting to reduce weight, here are some research-based strategies for improved sleep:
- Keep a regular sleep schedule: After a week of late nights, your metabolism can change and your insulin sensitivity decreases, making it easier for blood sugar to rise. This can lead to big swings in your sleep routine.
- Sleep in a dark room: The increased risk of weight gain and obesity has been linked to exposure to artificial light when sleeping, such as that provided by a TV or bedside lamp.
- Don’t eat right before bed: Eating after a certain time can have a negative impact on weight loss efforts.
- Reduce Stress: Several factors, including emotional eating, can contribute to weight gain and poor sleep as a result of long-term stress.
- Be an Early Bird: As a result, those who have late bedtimes are more likely to overeat and gain weight. When it comes to weight loss, early risers may have an advantage over night owls.
Maintaining a Healthy Relationship With Your Body
Your doctor can help you make an informed decision about whether or not you should make an effort to lose weight. Be skeptical of any health or weight loss advice you see on the internet. Losing weight isn’t for everyone, and it’s not always a sign of greater health, either. Make sure you remember that health is a lifelong process that includes not only good habits but also a healthy relationship with your body. The National Institutes of Health has a great guide to finding a healthy weight loss program if you’re interested in losing weight.
6 Ways Sleep May Help You Lose Weight
The amount of sleep you get may be equally as crucial as your food and activity in your weight loss efforts.
Sleep deprivation affects a large percentage of the population.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 35% of American adults sleep less than 7 hours a night on the majority of nights (CDC). Short sleep is defined as getting less than seven hours of sleep per night.
People who are unable to shed pounds may have a lack of sleep, according to new research.
To help you lose weight, here are six reasons why you should get enough sleep.
1. May help you avoid weight gain associated with short sleep
A higher body mass index (BMI) and weight increase have been linked to insufficient sleep, which is typically described as sleeping for less than 6–7 hours each night.
Adults who sleep less than seven hours a night are 41 percent more likely to be obese, according to a study of 20 research involving 300,000 participants. In contrast, those who slept longer (7–9 hours a night) were not associated with fat.
Another study identified a link between short sleep duration and a larger waist circumference, which is indicative of the formation of belly fat.
This isn’t the first time this has happened.
Children and teenagers have also been found to have comparable correlations.
Obesity was found to be linked to short sleep duration in a study of 33 observational and intervention studies. Interestingly, BMI scores reduced with each additional hour of sleep.
Short sleep duration was linked to a considerably greater risk of obesity in the following age categories, according to another review of numerous observational studies:
- Infancy: 40% increased risk
- Early childhood: 57% increased risk
- Middle childhood: 123% increased risk
- Adolescence: 30% increased risk
According to a recent analysis, short sleep duration can increase the risk of obesity in children by 30–45 percent.
As one contributor to obesity, sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased desire to eat high-fat and high-sugar foods, according to a study.
This could be accomplished by altering the amounts of hunger hormones ghrelin and leptin, which increase hunger and decrease fullness, respectively.
When the stomach releases ghrelin, it informs the brain that it is time to eat. It’s best to eat when your stomach is empty, so your hunger levels are at their highest before you eat. As a hormone, leptin is produced when fat cells release it. It acts as a hunger suppressant as well as a brain fullness signal.
Increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol can be a result of inadequate sleep deprivation, which in turn affects the sympathetic nervous system.
It may also have an effect on hormone levels, such as insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) (IGF-1). Increased fat storage is associated with IGF-1.
In addition, weight increase can exacerbate a number of sleep disorders, including obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). A vicious cycle of sleep deprivation causing weight growth and weight increase resulting in sleep deprivation might set up.
2. May help moderate your appetite
Sleep deprivation has been linked to an increase in caloric intake and hunger, thus getting enough sleep may help prevent these side effects.
A lack of sleep has been linked to increased hunger and higher calorie consumption in humans, according to numerous research.
People who are sleep deprived consume an average of 385 extra calories per day, with fat accounting for a higher percentage of those calories than typical.
Another study found that sleep deprivation increased appetite, food cravings, portion sizes, and chocolate and fat consumption significantly.
Sleep’s impact on the hunger hormones ghrelin and leptin is likely a contributing factor in the rise in caloric intake.
Sleep deprivation decreases leptin production and increases ghrelin production, making you more hungry and more likely to overeat.
3. May help you make better food choices
A good night’s sleep may influence your ability to make better dietary choices in the future.
The way your brain functions and your ability to make decisions can be affected if you don’t get enough sleep. Making good meal choices and resisting temptation may be more difficult because of this.
In addition, it appears that sleep deprivation boosts the brain’s reward regions, making food more pleasurable to eat.
The brain responses to high-calorie diets were shown to be stronger in those who were sleep-deprived, according to one study. People who didn’t get enough sleep were more likely to overpay for food than those who got enough sleep.
That bowl of ice cream is more enticing after a restless night’s sleep, and you’ll have a harder time resisting the temptation.
Another study found that people’s enhanced sensitivity to the scent of high-calorie foodstuffs was linked to increased consumption when they were sleep-deprived.
To make up for the lack of energy, people who are sleep deprived are more likely to make bad dietary choices, such as consuming more high-calorie, high-sugar, and high-fat fare.
4. Sleeping early can prevent late-night snacking
Going to bed early can help you avoid the late-night munching that is commonly associated with staying up later than your normal time of bedtime.
If you delay going to bed, you’ll have more time to eat, especially if it’s been a long time since your last meal.
In other words, if your dinner hour is 6 p.m. and your bedtime is 1:00 a.m., you’re probably going to be starving between the two.
If you’re already sleep-deprived, you may be more inclined to choose unhealthy foods. Sleep deprivation might boost your desire for high-calorie, high-fat foods and hence your appetite.
Weight gain increased BMI, and impaired fat oxidation are all linked to eating late at night, making it more difficult to shed pounds.
In addition, eating heavy meals close to bedtime, especially if you’re sleep-deprived, might reduce the quality of your sleep and exacerbate it. Those with acid reflux, indigestion, or sleep difficulties may want to reduce their food intake before going to sleep..
Try to eat no more than two to three hours before going to bed. Consider a small, protein-rich snack like Greek yogurt or cottage cheese if you’re feeling a bit peckish.
5. Potential benefits for your metabolism
If you don’t get enough sleep, your metabolism may slow down, which could lead to weight gain.
The amount of calories your body burns at rest is known as your resting metabolic rate (RMR). A wide range of factors, including but not limited to:
- muscle mass
Resting heart rate variability (RMV) may be influenced by sleep length.
The effects of sleep limitation on RMR were examined in a study including 47 people. An initial two-night period of regular sleep was followed by five days of sleep restriction, with each night’s sleep being restricted by four hours.
Finally, they were able to get a full night’s rest, sleeping for 12 hours straight.
The RMR of participants reduced dramatically during the five days of sleep deprivation. However, after the “catch-up” sleep, their RMR returned to normal. In the control group, there were no significant changes in RMRs.
Sleep deprivation may lower RMR, however, catching up on a night’s rest may help you get your RMR back up to normal.
While some studies have found no differences in metabolism due to lack of sleep, others have indicated that the amount of energy expended may actually rise as a result of being awake for a longer period of time.
Research is needed to identify whether and how sleep deprivation impacts metabolism.
If you don’t get enough sleep, you may be reducing the rate at which fat is broken down into energy.
People of all ages, genders, and body types had reduced basal fat oxidation when they were sleep-deprived, according to one study. RMR, on the other hand, was unaffected.
Poor-quality sleep may also reduce muscle synthesis, lowering RMR.
After a single night of inadequate sleep, muscle synthesis fell by 18 percent and testosterone levels by 24 percent. A 21% increase in cortisol was also seen. Muscle deterioration is caused by a combination of these factors.
There were significant limitations to this study because it was so tiny and only lasted one day. Further research indicates that muscle regeneration and growth are not harmed by sleep deprivation. As a result, more extensive research is required.
6. Sleep can enhance physical activity
There is a strong reciprocal association between sleep and physical exercise. Sleep deprivation can lead to a drop in physical activity, which in turn can lead to a decrease in physical activity.
Regular exercise has been demonstrated to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and improve the quality of sleep for people of all ages.
Sleep deprivation, on the other hand, can create daytime exhaustion, which makes you less inclined to engage in physical activity and more likely to remain inactive.
Sleep deprivation may cause you to burn fewer calories during the day than you would if you had a good night’s sleep. As a result, achieving a calorie deficit for weight loss becomes more challenging.
Lack of sleep can also impair your athletic performance by reducing:
- reaction time
- fine motor skills
- muscular power
- problem-solving skills
The risk of injury and delay in recovery may also rise.
In the end, remaining active requires a sufficient amount of sleep.
The bottom line
Not getting enough sleep can undermine your weight loss efforts.
Poor food choices, increased appetite, and calorie consumption decreased physical activity, and weight gain is all linked to a lack of sleep.
Consider changing your sleep habits if your weight loss efforts aren’t working. Even while everyone’s sleep needs are unique, the average adult requires between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night.
A good night’s sleep could make all the difference in your weight-loss efforts.