For people who have been struggling to lose weight, the journey can feel like it takes forever. As we attempt to get fit and healthy, our processes may include a variety of activities, such as numerous trips to the gym, resisting eating our favorite foods, and oftentimes doing an overhaul of our entire lives. We do these things in our attempts to finally shed off unwanted fat and keep it off. If you’re in this boat, just thinking about it can be exhausting.
How does sleep affect weight loss? Have you thought about this? Wouldn’t it be nice if weight loss could be as simple as sleeping? What if we figured out how little tweaks to our nightly routine can dramatically improve our efforts to lose weight?
As we all know, sleep and rest go hand in hand. There are people who may think of sleep as a part of a sedentary lifestyle. The good thing is, when done properly, it can also have an effect on weight loss. Sounds easy enough, right? If you truly value bedtime and would like to shed some pounds, here are some of the reasons why sleep can help you slim down.
A Good Night Of Sleep Prevents The Feeling Of Being Tired
Obviously, the lack of sleep can make anyone feel tired easily. Though taking energy drinks can provide an adrenaline rush to those who are sleep-deprived, the body would still feel tired at some point.
In addition to this, these go-to drinks to stay awake (including some coffee mixes or blended beverages) could be high in sugar and calories. So, if you are going to go the energy drink route, pay close attention to the calorie content, and go for the sugar-free option.
If we’re being honest with ourselves, we often make bad food choices when we feel exhausted. Grabbing a bag of chips, or quickly ordering pizza delivery is certainly tempting. What often happens when we’re sleep-deprived, is we grab whatever is easiest to eat.
That option is often an unhealthy food choice high in calories, and sure to pack on pounds when it becomes a habit.
Sleep Quality Affects Your Metabolism
Having less sleep decreases your metabolism. If you are familiar with RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate), it refers to the number of calories that the body burns when at rest. Though there are many factors affecting it (like age, sex, height, and weight), a person’s RMR can be affected by lack of sleep.
In the study published on the NCBI* (National Center for Biotechnology Information) website, participants were observed to have a significant reduction in RMR when they are sleep deprived for a specific period of time.
The study also revealed that getting proper sleep after being deprived of it can bring RMR back up for at least one night, meaning you’ll increase calories burned.
Good Sleep Prevents Late Night Snacking
It’s easy to stay up all night binge-watching Netflix. But if you’re serious about losing weight, it would benefit you to try to get some Zzz s!
Aside from the typical late-night snacking that goes along with staying up late, the extra time awake creates a larger window that allows for overeating. For example, if you eat dinner at around 8 pm, you’ll probably feel hungry at around 1 am.
There are studies showing that being sleep deprived causes people to make poor choices when it comes to food. When this becomes a habit on a regular basis, it will surely result in weight gain.
This article explains how I overcame night-eating syndrome. When I finally kicked that habit, I lost a significant amount of fat. It’s amazing how many extra calories we can consume in the middle of the night that completely derail our efforts to lose weight.
Good Sleep Improves Physical Activity
Have you ever gone to the gym or played any kind of sport when you had a night of great sleep? It certainly made you feel invigorated and refreshed.
Since stress and lack of sleep go hand in hand, it’s why you’ll feel fatigued and have low energy when engaging in physical activity. This exhaustion can make exercising less motivating and can lead to the start of having a sedentary lifestyle.
A Contraption To Help You Measure Sleep Quality
I recently received the Amazon Halo as a gift. While it measures your body fat percentage, it also gives you a breakdown of how you sleep each and every night. Since I’ve begun to see similar patterns in my sleep, I’m making tweaks to my routine, to improve my sleep quality.
It measures your stages of R.E.M., light, and deep sleep, and exactly what hours of the night you were in each one of those states. It also measures any disturbances throughout the night that last longer than 5 minutes. So, to me, this has been helpful in understanding how I can make improvements in my sleep routine.
Sleep & Weight Loss In Summary
So, how does sleep affect weight loss? Better sleep help us make better choices, especially when it comes to food consumption. When we are sleep-deprived, we make poor choices that can result in eating habits that easily cause weight gain over time.
Many people are sleep deprived due to a number of factors, and the fact that we live in a world of 24/7 online engagement doesn’t help matters. We have to be proactive in our choices in order to get the results that we want.
People often don’t realize that having great sleep can directly contribute to their weight loss efforts. If you are one of those having trouble dropping extra pounds, it may be time to analyze your sleeping patterns and make decisions as to what can be tweaked. This is what I’m personally using to make improvements to my sleep each night.
I hope you found this article to be helpful. If you have any questions or comments regarding anything written here, please leave them below and I’ll be more than happy to get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks so much for reading!