When you step on the scale, are you happy with the number you see? If not, you might want to look at more than just your diet and exercise routine. The number of Z’s you’re getting each night may be the real culprit. If you’re on a health kick, it’s important to know how sleep affects weight loss.
Lack of Sleep Leads to Poor Choices
When you don’t sleep well, you wake tired. And tired brains aren’t smart-thinking brains. When you make poor choices, it could lead to long-lasting repercussions, such as weight gain.
- You push the snooze button instead of making it to that early-morning workout.
- Since you’re running late, you grab a high-calorie coffee drink and donut on the way to work.
- Starving by lunchtime, you make the choice to hit the drive-through for a dollar meal.
- On the way home, takeout seems like a much better idea than cooking.
- After dinner, you end up sitting on the couch watching TV instead of walking the dog.
With continued sleepiness, this pattern might very well repeat day after day.
In fact, a recent study showed that people who don’t get enough sleep habitually eat 500 or more calories daily. Since it takes 3,500 calories to make one pound of fat, someone who’s eating an additional 500 calories a day will gain, on average, one pound a week. All from lack of sleep.
Sufficient Sleep Balances Hormones
Hormones are the powerhouses that run nearly all of the functions in the human body. The two hormones that are associated most with hunger and fullness are ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin tells your body that it’s time to eat, and that would be well and good except that your body creates more ghrelin when it’s tired. Leptin lets your body know when it’s full, but when you’re sleepy, those levels drop and you don’t stop eating.
But wait, there’s more.
When you’re sleep deprived, your cortisol levels increase, putting your body into survival mode. That means it’s going to hang on to that extra fat, just in case no more food is coming.
The body’s ability to process insulin, a hormone that transforms food into energy, decreases as sleep decreases. And if insulin isn’t working properly, fat stays in the bloodstream instead of fueling your body and getting burned off.
It’s basic science that a body not getting enough sleep will start to get way too much fat. Just another way sleep affects weight loss.
How Much Sleep Is Enough?
While every person is different, most adults need 7–9 hours of sleep each night. It’s best when the sleep occurs on a regular pattern. Unfortunately, most of us vary our sleep habits, either nightly or from weekdays to weekends. And that could be leading to weight gain.
Just 30 minutes less than your regular amount of Z’s can take its toll, says the Endocrine Society of America. Of course, it doesn’t happen over just one late night, but most of us don’t have just one night of less-than-adequate sleep. The damage can start with as little as four days of irregular sleep patterns.
Reverse Your Poor Sleep Cycle
Thankfully, it’s possible to change things up and enjoy the sleep you need to be energetic during the day while aligning those hormones for proper functioning. It’s all about getting more sleep on a regular basis.
It’s best to work backwards when it comes to your sleep habits. Think about what time you need to get up and then go to bed at least 7.5 hours prior. Make this a nightly ritual and don’t plan to stay up later on weekends. Once your body is used to its new schedule, you’ll be sleepy at the right time so you can wake regularly, probably without an alarm clock.
Remember to prioritize your sleep. The fact that lack of sleep affects weight loss is just one reason sleep is so important. It’s the time your body recharges, and you need that if you’re going to be successful each day.
Get Help on Your Journey with CoolSculpting
If you’ve been fighting to lose weight for what seems like forever, you now know it could have something to do with your sleep patterns. But that doesn’t instantly make you lose weight. If you need some help to melt that fat as you get yourself back on a smart sleep pattern, CoolSculpting can help.
Bodify is Phoenix’s premier CoolSculpting boutique. We treat both men and women with our noninvasive fat-freezing technique. In less than an hour, you can relax in our spa-like environment while one of our friendly technicians applies the patented applicators. The deep freeze starts to kill off excess fat cells, which are soon released from your body. You’re left closer to your goal and feeling and looking better.
Contact us to learn more and schedule your initial consultation.