How much you sleep can be as important to achieving your weight loss goal as how much you eat. Dealing with sleep deprivation creates a cascade of reactions in your body that can interfere with anything you can do to help you lose excess weight while you are awake.
We’ll explain how in a moment, but let’s start with this fact: about 35 percent of US adults don’t get the recommended minimum sleep of seven hours per night, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.)).
Stress is a common cause of sleep loss, but lifestyle habits such as watching TV or scrolling through social media in bed, eating late at night, and inconsistent sleeping and waking times have also been linked to reduced sleep times. The more you can do to get seven or more hours of sleep a day, the higher your chance of success in losing weight.
Here are five ways sleep deprivation can slow down your weight loss:
1. Your hunger increases.
When you are constantly tired, the levels of the two appetite-regulating hormones ghrelin and leptin change in your body, leaving you hungry even if you have eaten enough. “These differences in leptin and ghrelin likely increase appetite,” according to a study published in PLOS Medicine.
2. You are more likely to opt for fattening feed.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who are sleep deprived are more likely to eat high-carb snacks. People who slept less than the recommended seven hours each night “ate more calories and fat in snacks in the early evening – nearly 1,000 calories and twice as much fat – compared to just 600 calories in snacks when they slept all night had ”, conclude the researchers at the University of Chicago.
3. Your body burns less fat.
Even if your body burns excess calories, lack of sleep changes the types of calories you lose. Researchers who reported their results in the Annals of Internal Medicine observed that subjects who didn’t get enough sleep burn less fat – up to 55 percent less – while their calorie consumption and overall diet can stay the same.
4. You exercise less.
While no studies have clearly documented this, common sense and practical experience suggest that when you are faced with sleep deprivation, you will have less energy to get through your day. Plus, you feel too tired to do the daily exercises you need to keep burning calories. Physical activity like walking helps your body burn calories and converts love handles into muscles. If you are too tired to be active, you are missing out on the precious weight loss benefits you will get from it.
5. Your risk of obesity and diabetes increases.
People who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to suffer from obesity and type 2 diabetes, according to a report in the Journal of Applied Physiology.
What can you do to make sure you get enough eyes closed every night?
The CDC recommends that you establish and maintain a regular sleep schedule as much as possible, including on weekends and when you are on vacation. Make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and free from distractions. Do not eat less than an hour before bedtime. Do some exercise during the day even when you feel tired. When you are physically tired, you can sleep better at night.
If you have sleep apnea or any other disorder that is preventing you from deep sleep, be sure to discuss this with your doctor. And last but not least, follow your own Nutrisystem weight loss plan This allows you to sleep soundly knowing that you are doing everything possible to stay healthy.