Melt Away the Pounds by Getting More Sleep

Can hitting the snooze button really lead to weight loss? Appetite control? Health benefits? Yes, yes, and yes! Sleep is one of life’s greatest pleasures, and one of the most important. Getting over 7 hours of sleep per night is crucial for your body to facilitate daily functions. Typically, we hear “eat less, move more” to lose weight. But it’s not that simple. The truth is, weight loss doesn’t just revolve around eating and exercise habits, it also involves your bed.

Between work, hitting the gym, managing your family, and social obligations, your sleep cycle may be getting lost in the shuffle. Hitting the gym and perfecting your diet is great, but without proper sleep, you’ll be missing a key factor if you’re looking to shed some pounds.

40% of Americans get 6 hours of sleep per night or less. (The percentage for obesity is almost identical). Sleep experts recommend getting at least 7-9 hours per night.

Effects of Sleep Deprivation

  • Individuals consume roughly 300 extra calories a day compared to sufficient sleep days
  • Increased levels of hunger hormone (Ghrelin)
  • Decreased levels of satiety or fullness hormone (Leptin)
  • Leads to weight gain and overeating
  • Less physical activity
  • Consume more carbohydrates
  • Eating more at night due to energy needed to stay awake longer
  • More likely to eat higher calorie/high fat/unhealthy foods
  • Undo and reduce the benefits of a healthy diet and exercise

Lack of Sleep Changes Fat Cells

You know that feeling…the one where you wake up cranky and exhausted. Not wanting to take on the world, but instead crawl back into bed. That’s your body and brain’s way of telling you they need more sleep…and your fat cells all feel the same way.

After just 4 days of inadequate sleep patterns, your body’s insulin levels start going crazy. You might feel “okay” (with the help of coffee), but your hormones don’t feel well at all.

Here’s the breakdown. When your insulin levels are performing well, the fat cells remove fatty acids and lipids from your blood stream and prevent storage. When you’re sleep deprived, the insulin and fats circulate in your blood and pump out more insulin. This causes an excess of insulin buildup and it starts storing fat in bad places such as your liver. Diseases like diabetes and obesity stem from this very phenomenon. It’s important to maintain healthy sleeping hours to prevent your hormone levels from going haywire.

Sleep Deprivation and Hunger Control

Guess what? Hunger has nothing to do with willpower. It’s controlled by two hormones called leptin and ghrelin.

Leptin is produced in your fat cells, the less you produce the more your stomach feels empty.

Ghrelin stimulates hunger while reducing your metabolism and increasing the amount of fat your store.

Basically, you need to control both of these to effectively lose weight. Sleep deprivation makes this nearly impossible.

Lack of sleep causes areas in your brain to change, increasing your need for food, while depressing Leptin and stimulating Ghrelin. Cortisol is another team player, which is responsible for stress and activating reward signals in your brain to crave food. Loss of sleep causes Ghrelin and cortisol to shut down areas of your brain that typically feel satisfied after a meal. Which in turn makes you feel hungry all the time, even after you’ve just eaten a huge meal! This is a disastrous combination for individuals trying to lose weight.

But wait, it only gets worse.

Inadequate sleep also makes you crave foods you know you shouldn’t eat. Scientific studies have proven that just one night of sleep deprivation was enough to impair your frontal lobe, which controls all of your complex decision-making skills.

Sleep/Weight Loss Studies

In a study by Annals of Internal Medicine, dieters were put on two different sleep schedules. One group included 7+ hours of sleep a night, and the other group less than 7 hours per night. The group with adequate sleep experienced significant fat loss, more energy, and satisfaction after meals. The sleep deprived group experienced a shocking 55% less fat loss, lacked the energy to exercise, felt hungrier, and wasn’t satisfied after meals.

Here’s another shocking study…

Research by the American Journal of Epidemiology discovered that women who don’t get enough sleep are a third more likely to gain 33 pounds over the next 16 years, compared to women who slept over 7 hours per night. (Let that soak in again, 33 pounds!)

The correlation between sleep and weight loss is hard to ignore. In order to achieve successful, long-term weight loss, you need to figure out a sleep schedule that is perfect for your needs. One that leaves you energized, alert, and ready to tackle your day. Sleep deprivation can seriously put your body all of-of-whack and therefore sabotage your weight loss efforts. Run yourself a hot relaxing bath, turn off the electronics, and melt away your stress every night before diving into in a deep re-charging sleep.

Better health starts with better sleep. Contact Queen Anne Pillow Company today for a better night’s rest.