Could it be? That sleep is an easy way to lose weight? Imagine being able to lose weight by doing something you’ve done since the day you were born. No need to sweat, haul your butt to a gym, count calories, and fretting over everything you eat.
There is growing evidence that sleep is critical to weight management. Plus, sleep is essential to overall health. Sleep is more than an easy way to lose weight. Many processes occur during sleep that restore and rejuvenate the mind and body.
Why Sleep is an Easy Way to Lose Weight
Sleep influences weight management a few ways.
- We are less hungry if we get 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night.
- Lack of sleep increases hormones that stimulate appetite.
- We are more physically active when we get adequate sleep.
People who stay up late usually consume more high calories food before bed. This is more true if those extra hours of being awake are glued to the television. On average people who sleep less consume 400 to 500 calories more a day – essentially a pound in additional calories per week.
Lack of sleep is associated with production of more ghrelin and cortisol. Ghrelin is a hormone that tells us we are hungry and need to eat. Cortisol is the infamous stress hormone which tends to make many eat more too. Mood is greatly affected by sleep which can lead to emotional eating (overeating).
If we don’t sleep well we don’t have the energy to take on the day. We make up for a lack of sleep by preserving our energy. That means being less physically active during the awake hours. This leads to burning fewer calories. Couple that with the additional calories associated with a lack of sleep and it’s no wonder that weight gain occurs.
Factors the Affect Sleep
Many factors affect sleep. These include medications, depression, stress, irregular work hours, aging (associated with decline in hormones and neurotransmitters), and environmental factors to name a few. If you suffer from sleep disturbance consult with your doctor.
If you are overweight, do not overlook the importance of sleep. Getting adequate sleep just might be the secret to an easy way to lose weight.
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