Many people around the world want to lose weight, and they try a wide variety of methods to achieve that goal. If this is your mission, too, it might be why you’ve clicked on this article. But before you start an over-the-top exercise regimen or begin a potentially damaging crash diet, there’s one thing you might be neglecting that could make all the difference: your sleep habits.
Believe it or not, if you’re lacking in sleep, you’re preventing yourself from reaching your ideal weight more quickly! We want to share with you how scientists explain the ways that sleeping more can help you lose weight faster.
“Not getting enough sleep is one of the strongest individual risk factors for weight gain and obesity.” – Unknown
Here Are 5 Ways That Sleeping More Helps You Lose Weight Faster
1. It helps you maintain a balanced appetite.
A lot of research that shows how getting too little sleep negatively affects your appetite for the rest of the day. It does not decrease your need to eat. Instead, deprivation of precious sleep can boost your appetite to a too-high extreme as your body scrambles for more energy to keep it running efficiently.
Sleep actually has quite a big effect on two of the most important hormones that control hunger: leptin and ghrelin. Leptin, released by fat cells, tells the brain when the body is full, thus preventing hunger to some degree. Meanwhile, ghrelin, produced by the stomach, tells you that you’re hungry.
When you lack sleep, the body actively produces less leptin and increases ghrelin production, so you feel hungrier and more frequently want to eat. Sleeping for shorter lengths of time can increase your ghrelin levels by approximately 14.9% while decreasing leptin levels 15.5%.
2. It gives you increased energy.
It goes without saying that lacking sleep causes you to feel more tired and fatigued during the day. This can decrease exercise motivation and prevent you from carrying out your regimens. Or it might simply reduce your overall performance at the gym, leading to less progress on the whole. Quite a number of studies have unearthed that getting sufficient sleep can greatly improve your athletic prowess, leading to more weight loss when you work out. You’ll also enjoy better reaction times, faster reflexes, and improved accuracy if you play sports.
On top of that, additional energy can help you be more physically active throughout the day, even in minute ways you barely notice. But even these seemingly tiny amounts of additional movement can add up in the long run, leading to greater ability to lose weight. Studies have found that sleeping too little will decrease the intensity with which you perform any physical activity, even everyday tasks.
3. It improves metabolism.
Everyone has what is called a resting metabolic rate, otherwise known as an RMR. In laymen’s terms, this is the number of calories that your body naturally burns off when you are fully resting and doing nothing. RMR is affected by a large number of factors, including sex, age, muscle mass, height, and weight. Well, getting too little sleep has been proven to decrease RMR by some degree.
Some studies have found that RMRs can drop by 5% with inadequate sleep, which doesn’t seem like much until you consider the fact that this is accompanied by a whopping 20% drop in metabolic rate after meals. Poor sleep has also been linked to the loss of muscle mass. Since muscles can help you burn more calories, this is another way sleeping too little can negatively impact one’s metabolism.
That said, some research refutes the idea that RMRs can drop without enough sleep, so further studies might be necessary before we can make solid conclusions. Still, there is enough proof to suggest that it might not be worth the risk.
4. It provides a healthier insulin response.
You have probably heard of the vital hormone insulin many times. It is, essentially, the component that transports sugar around the body, taking sugar from the bloodstream and carrying it into cells to be converted into energy.
When you fail to get enough sleep, you may develop a resistance to insulin. When the cells – and therefore the body – become insulin resistant, sugar does not get absorbed properly. This leads to more insulin production as the body attempts to make compensation for the situation. This will then cause the body to store up calories, converting it into fat, which in turn makes you feel hungrier more often.
Insulin resistance can be dangerous and may lead to significant weight gain or diabetes type 2. Since studies have shown that cells can build up an insulin resistance of 40% more when you don’t get enough sleep, there’s plenty of reason to make sure you have sufficient shut-eye. It can prevent you from storing more fat in the long run, thus helping you lose weight.
5. It reduces unhealthy cravings.
The amount of sleep you get can completely change the way your brain functions as a whole. Logically, this might cause healthy choices to seem more and more unappealing, leading you to take the less nutritional route. But this isn’t just a guess – it’s backed by science.