Sleeping Your Way to Weight Loss

We've all been there: struggling to get moving, shambling through the daily routine in a fog, fighting the urge to doze, all because of a bad night's sleep. It's almost unavoidable that at some point life events will not cooperate with our plans for a restful night, but how harmful can it be for our weight loss plan? It turns out, a good night's sleep can do a lot to boost your efforts to lose weight and feel better.

Around 40% of Americans are getting seven or fewer hours of sleep per night, and Columbia University found that this leads to a heavier overall weight, weight gain over time, and a harder time losing weight regardless of the method tried. Getting enough shut-eye can really invigorate your weight loss. These are just some of the benefits of ensuring you have at least eight hours:
  • It stops you from snacking. Participants with an earlier bedtime in a University of Pennsylvania study lost more weight and faster than their counterparts, mostly because they consumed up to 550 fewer calories in the “late night munchies” time frame.
  • It boosts your resting metabolism. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that well-rested individuals burn about 5% more calories at rest and up to 20% more after a meal than their sleepy counterparts.
  • It helps you lose more weight from fat. A University of Chicago study compared participants who slept 5.5 hours per night to those sleeping 8.5 hours per night, with everyone eating the same number of calories. While all the participants lost weight due to the calorie restriction, those in the 8.5 hour group lost half of the weight as fat, compared to only a quarter for the 5.5 hour group.
  • You'll be better able to make good food shopping decisions. A study published in the journal Obesity showed that people shopping while tired bought an average of 1,300 calories more on grocery runs than those who were well-rested, even though none of the participants were shopping hungry because they were fed before the experiment.
  • You'll be better able to stick to portion control. A Swedish study showed that sleepy participants add an average of 35 calories per food item. That really adds up over the course of a day.
  • It boosts your ability to focus, and changes how your brain reacts to food. A Harvard Medical School study showed that when you're exhausted, not only are you in a fog and more uninhibited, but this makes you more likely to eat more and make poorer food choices. Columbia University's study supported this by showing how fatty and sugary foods stimulate the part of the brain that seeks pleasure, which is more likely to run the show while you're tired.
  • It changes how your body uses insulin and burns fat. The University of Chicago showed that just four nights of poor sleep can impair your ability to efficiently use insulin, leading to lipids (fats) in the bloodstream being deposited into areas like the liver and having many negative effects.

The benefits go on and on. These are just some of the ways that proper sleep can help you on your way to a new figure or a healthy new life. This doesn't even touch on the benefits good nightly sleep has for the the rest of your health outlook. If you're looking for one tiny step that can have an amazing effect on your goals, start working on getting more sleep tonight.
M'lis at Lora's Boutique and Wellness
19 N Centennial St, Wishek, ND 58495
(701) 452-0116

Leave a comment