Sleep is one of the most essential biological processes, allowing both your mind and body to revitalize themselves overnight. According to the CDC, adults need about seven to nine hours of quality sleep every night to stay in good health. However, about 35% of adults sleep less than seven hours each night.
Although you may be aware that sleep is necessary for your health, did you know that your body actually needs sleep in order to lose weight? Numerous studies have linked a lack of sleep with a higher risk of obesity. Let’s explore several reasons why this link between weight gain and shorter sleep duration is present.
Sleep Affects Metabolism
Research has indicated that sleep deprivation may have profound effects on your metabolism, leading to weight gain. Your metabolism is the set of chemical reactions that occur in the body to convert food to energy, while your resting metabolic rate (RMR) is the total number of calories that your body can burn while at rest. Your RMR can be affected by multiple factors, such as:
- Muscle mass
Studies have found that your RMR can significantly decrease when you sleep for shorter periods of time.
Another way that a lack of sleep may negatively impact your metabolism is through an altered circadian rhythm. A circadian rhythm is your body’s internal clock that regulates activity and alertness according to each time of day. It can be disrupted when you don’t follow a consistent sleeping, eating, and exercise pattern, which can cause you to eat more at night.
Late-night eating has also been associated with craving and selecting snacks that are high in calories and low in beneficial nutrients, which can increase your weight over time.
Sleep Regulates Appetite
Studies have also depicted how sleep deprivation leads to a reduction in leptin levels, which is an appetite suppressant hormone associated with weight control. Similarly, ghrelin, a hormone that promotes feelings of hunger, rises when you do not sleep for an adequate amount of time each night. An increased appetite usually leads to a greater caloric intake, eventually leading to weight gain over time.
Sleep May Determine Food Choices
Getting at least seven hours of sleep each night can also help you make healthier food choices throughout your day. This occurs because a lack of sleep can lower activity in your frontal lobe, which is the part of your brain that is responsible for decision-making and impulse control. In addition, the reward centers in your brain can be more stimulated by unhealthy foods when you have not had enough sleep. These neurological responses paired together can have a disastrous effect on your healthy diet.
Sleep is Connected to Exercise
How often you exercise and how long you sleep are directly related to each other. A lack of sufficient sleep each night leads to less energy for physical activity. However, not enough exercise each day can decrease your quality of sleep. Research shows that just 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise each week can dramatically enhance your ability to concentrate and reduce daytime drowsiness.
Longer sleep can also improve your athletic performance when competing in sports by increasing:
- Muscular power
- Problem-solving skills
- Reaction time
- Fine motor skills
Contact Garcia Weight Loss
With so many factors affecting your weight and fitness, it can feel overwhelming knowing where to begin. That’s what Garcia Weight Loss is here for. At Garcia Weight Loss, our Vivaliti Weight Loss program offers customized nutritional plans, personalized supplements, and a consistent support system to help you reach and maintain your weight loss goals. Contact us today for your free consultation to learn more.