How Sleep Helps in Weight Loss
Posted on Dec 07, 2016

Many people do not fully understand the importance that sleep has on the body. You might not have known that getting a full restful night of sleep may be able to help you lose weight.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends sleeping 7 to 9 hours each night. Many people do not meet these sleep recommendations. Let’s talk about some ways better sleep might help you in your weight loss journey.

Moderate Appetite

How Sleep Helps in Weight Loss:  Moderate Appetite

Studies have shown that those that are sleep deprived tend to have increased appetites resulting in a higher calorie intake.

One study looking at energy levels in conjunction with sleep deprivation found that on average a person who is sleep-deprived consumed 385 more calories a day and a higher percentage of calories derived from fats.

Better Food Choices During The Day

How Sleep Helps in Weight Loss:  Better Food Choices

Lack of sleep affects how your brain works. You are more likely to go for food that increases serotonin. Sleep deprivation makes your brain crave these rewarding yet unhealthy choices. Those that are experiencing sleep deprivation will typically feel hungrier and have cravings for fattier and more sugary foods.

One study found that those with sleep deprivation had more brain activity when shown higher-calorie foods than those that were not sleep-deprived.

No Late-Night Snacking

Going to bed early means you are not awake to keep eating. When we stay up late at night we tend to snack on things and if you are already experiencing sleep deprivation the snack you choose is not going to be a great choice.

How Sleep Helps in Weight Loss:  Late Night Snacking

Try to avoid eating too close to your bedtime. Give yourself about 2-3 hours between dinner and going to bed. This will allow time for you to digest. If you feel like you are hungry, go for a protein-rich snack like Greek yogurt.

Recall that the term breakfast derives from the concept of actually breaking a fast. It is normal and healthy to fast at night. Sleeping during a fast obviously makes that easier. Intermittent fasting is really just a longer fast that we should all be doing during sleep.

Improve Metabolism

How Sleep Helps in Weight Loss:  Metabolism

Your metabolism is the collection of chemical processes that your body performs to turn calories from food into energy. Better sleep can help you prevent your body from decreasing your metabolism.

One study monitored participants RMR (resting metabolic rate) during normal sleep and during sleep deprivation. When participants were sleep-deprived their RMR decreased meaning that it took longer to burn calories.

Enhance Physical Activity

When you are not getting enough sleep your physical activity level is likely to decrease. This can start a vicious cycle because sleep and physical activity are interconnected.

Regular exercise can help you sleep better. Lack of sleep will have you fatigued during the day making you less motivated to exercise.

How Sleep Helps in Weight Loss:  Enhance Physical Activity

Lack of sleep also affects your athletic performance. It can decrease your reaction time, fine motor skills, muscular power, endurance, problem-solving skills, and delay recovery time.

During sleep, many maintenance and clean-up activities occur. This is true for muscle, brain, bone, connective tissue, liver, intestines, and so on. Without sleep, a build-up of sludge happens at the cellular level and most functions stop working properly. There is a reason that sleep deprivation has been a very well known method for interrogation historically.

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