Sleep and Weight Loss: How a Good Night’s Sleep Prevents Weight Gain

If your New Year resolution is to lose weight, start by getting a good night’s sleep. Sleep is an important yet often overlooked component of any weight loss strategy. Your brain yearns for rest and without it, you’re left feeling overtired. Feeling overtired leads to skipping the gym and to unhealthy food choices. Let’s take a closer look at how a lack of sleep can pack on the pounds:

The Statistics

There’s an old saying that the “numbers don’t lie.” If you’ve had a rough night sleeping and have just stepped on the scales to bad news, you’re not alone. Consider these statistics regarding sleep and weight loss:

  • One-third of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep a night.
  • More than a third of adults in the U.S. are obese.
  • U.S. adults sleep an average of 6.8 hours a night.
  • Forty percent of adults report sleeping six hours or less.
  • Sleep-deprived participants in one study ate twice as much high-calorie snacks as those who had eight hours of sleep.

University of Chicago researchers say that sleep deprivation makes one metabolically groggy. Sleepy brains tell you are hungry for something rewarding, such as a sweet or junk food.

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Running on Empty

When a body becomes sleep-deprived, hormones become unbalanced. This unbalance communicates messages to the brain that communicate hunger. The body has ghrelin and leptin hormones that play a key role in dictating our eating habits. Ghrelin is the hunger hormone; it signals our brains that it’s time to eat. Leptin is the fullness hormone; it signals our brains it’s time to put our forks down. Sleep deprivation causes ghrelin levels to spike and leptin levels to plummet. Other hormones affected are the stress hormone cortisol and insulin, the hormone that changes food into energy.

How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Along with exercise and eating right, a good night’s sleep is crucial to preventing weight gain. Sleeping less than seven hours a night has the ability to erase a great day at the gym or the healthy dinner you made. Spending time choosing healthier choices at the grocery store and investing in a gym membership are good steps toward losing weight. By adding an additional investment of time in setting a sleep schedule in improving your bedding, you’ll feel better about stepping on the scales in the morning. Use these tips to start a healthier nighttime pattern for better rest:

  • Turn off electronic devices one hour before bedtime. Anything with a screen gets shut down for the night.
  • Develop a routine of going to bed and getting up around the same time each day, even on the weekend.
  • Lights out-darkness is a signal to your body to release melatonin, a natural sleep hormone.

Rest Your Head on the Right Pillow

Resting your head comfortably on the right pillow is essential to a good night’s sleep. When it comes to pillows, there’s no “one size fits all” because everyone sleeps differently. The level of firmness, material, and size of pillows affect the quality of one’s sleep. Feeling lousy after a night sleeping on a down pillow? You might have an allergy to down and need a hypoallergenic pillow. Before choosing a new pillow, decide what you like and don’t like about your current pillow. With a little research, choosing and investing in the right pillow will be time and money well spent.

We here at the Queen Anne Pillow Company believe in the power a great night sleep has on weight loss. A great night’s sleep keeps hormones in check and prevents poor food choices. Our variety of pillows will have you sleeping more and snacking less; contact us today.

Photo by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash