There are so many myths that one is bound to come across as they embark on their weight loss journey. It is, therefore, somewhat natural to wonder if the connection between sleep and weight loss is one of such myths. How exactly does sleep help with weight loss?
This article explains the different connections between improved sleep hygiene and weight loss establishing that person on a weight loss plan should aim for sufficient sleep and rest. Some of the reasons why sleep is important for weight loss are highlighted below.
Less sleep increases one’s appetite
Lack of sleep can increase one’s appetite, and this has been proven by scientific studies. Studies have shown that persons that sleep consistently for less than the recommended number of hours every night which is about 7 to 9 hours have larger appetites. This connection is based on the fact that when a person is sleep deprived, they do not handle food cravings as efficiently as they would if they were not sleep deprived.
Thus, a person that sleeps for an average of 5 or 6 hours will fill up on snack and develop other unhealthy eating patterns more easily than a person that gets good sleep consistently.
Sleep distorts the body’s metabolism
Several metabolic processes take place in the body to ensure its proper functioning. One of such metabolic processes is sugar metabolism which control the way food is consumed and ensures a proper level of blood glucose.
Research has shown that poor sleep hygiene distorts the metabolism of action of glucose. Insulin converts glucose into other forms which are stored for later use by the body. When the insulin level is low or the available insulin does not function properly, the blood glucose level increases and fat which is supposed to be stored away remain in the bloodstream.
Since more glucose is is available in the bloodstream, the body is stimulated to produce more insulin and this could eventually lead to total loss of sensitivity to insulin, a form of diabetes mellitus.
Sleep reduces the level of physical activity
A sleep-deprived person is known to be less active than a person that sleep well enough, at least for the recommended number of hours. Sleep deprivation can make a person more sluggish and less interested in physical activity. Since the level of physical activity is directly proportional to the level of weight loss attainable, sleep enhances weight loss in that manner.
Sleep increases calorie intake
When a person is sleep deprived, especially longterm, they lose a major proportion of their ability to make healthy food choices. Thus, even persons on very strict dieting plans, tend to take more high-calorie foods when they are sleep-deprived. Studies have also shown the increasing pattern of calorie intake for persons that do not get enough sleep, and this has been linked to the decrease in their ability to resist making bad food decisions.
The importance of sleep for weight loss has been highlighted in this article. The reasons highlighted above should inspire a healthy sleep pattern, especially for persons aiming for healthier weights.
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