Is sleep the key to weight loss?

Is sleep the key to weight loss?

We all know the benefits of sleep in terms of boosting energy levels, fighting colds and staving off a bad mood, so it should come as no surprise that sleeping well can help you lose weight.

It’s not necessarily the sleeping that causes the weight loss, but rather the behaviour that follows it. When your sleep is interrupted your body is more likely to make excess ghrelin, the hormone which increases appetite. Coupled with this, not getting enough beauty sleep decreases the levels of leptin, the feel-full hormone.

Research has also shown that those who have 8.5 hours of sleep a night lost about twice as much fat as those who sleep around 5.5 hours per night. Even if they ate the same number of calories throughout the day.

But why does this extra snooze time affect the amount of weight we lose?

Research suggest that sleep ramps up our levels of cortisol a stress hormone which can lead to inflammation and inulin problems. Both of these can lead to weight gain.

Top tips for sleeping well

  1. Aim for a full 8.5 hours of sleep each night
  2. Sleep at the same time every night
  3. Turn down the heat – the metabolism gets cranked in colder rooms, helping your body to burn off those fat reserves.
  4. Keep the lights out – keeping lights off and shut off all the gadgets. Blue light from smartphones drains the body of melatonin (the hormone that helps you doze off). It’s thought that reduced melatonin also increases weight gain.
  5. Healthy habits during the day will also help the quality of sleep you get at night, so your eating habits and exercise regime will reflect on this. Drinking too much alcohol will have a detrimental impact on your overall sleep.

The Author

Laura Briggs

Laura is a fitness writer who loves running, strength training, Pilates and Yoga. When she's got time to herself you might find her knitting, or in the kitchen trying out an elaborate recipe - healthy of course!.

Comments

Charlie M.
21 February 2017

Charlie M.

the bedroom has to be a gadget-free zone, not even a TV. The only possible allowed item is an e-reader with no internet access and a white screen. I need to read a book to get to sleep and this works well.

Paula C.
21 February 2017

Paula C.

After hearing about how blue light emissions can affect sleep I never take my tablet or phone to bed now. I think I get to sleep more quickly if I keep the bedroom gadget free, and so know I'm doing the best I can to get good sleep.

Ilya C.
16 February 2017

Ilya C.

Don't you mean "Research suggest that ***A LACK OF*** sleep ramps up our levels of cortisol a stress hormone which can lead to inflammation and inulin problems. Both of these can lead to weight gain"? Kind of important distinction.

Michael A.
16 February 2017

Michael A.

I definitely don't get 8.5 hours a night. Most nights it's 7, which I feel fine on. Surely it varies between people how much sleep they need?

Would you like to post a comment? Please register or log in.

Log In Register

Share this

Popular Posts

We want to give you the best website experience possible by using cookies. Carry on browsing if you’re happy with this, or find out how to manage your cookies and view our Cookie Policy.
Read PayAsUGym’s updated Privacy Policy.