How Sleep Affects Your Weight Loss

Get more zzz's to see more weight loss!

Did you know that getting your beauty sleep means more than just a better complexion, a brighter smile and more energy? Getting a full nights sleep also improves dieting efforts. A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine reported that dieting participants who got adequate sleep lost more fat, and when the same participants cut back on their sleep their weight loss only was about one-fourth fat loss. Those participants reported that when their sleep was restricted, they also felt hungrier.(1)

Hormones and Sleep
When your body is at rest during sleep it is in a state of repair. While you sleep your body produces hormones including leptin and ghrelin which aid in the regulation of feelings of hunger and fullness. When you don’t get enough sleep, leptin levels go down which means you won’t feel as satisfied after you eat. A lack of sleep can also increase ghrelin levels which can stimulate your appetite, so you end up eating more food.

In a recent study conducted at the University of Chicago in Illinois, doctors measured levels of leptin and ghrelin in 12 healthy adults and noted their hunger and appetite levels. The participants were then subjected to two days of sleep deprivation followed by two days of extended sleep. The doctors monitored their hormone levels, appetite and activity during this time. Results showed that when their sleep was restricted, leptin levels lowered and ghrelin were raised. Their appetites also increased and their desire for high-carbohydrate, calorie-dense foods also increased by 45 percent.(2)

Watch this short video to learn more about the connection between sleep, and your weight loss:

How To Get Better Sleep
Many people suffer from sleep deprivation due to hectic schedules and the pace of daily life. It can be difficult to unwind and slow down at the end of the day to get the sleep you need.

Follow these few tips to improve your sleep patterns, and balance hormone levels:

Avoid alcohol and caffeine within five hours before bedtime
Get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, at least two hours before sleeping
Keep post-meal snacks in the evening low-glycemic. Try eating whole grains, or protein.
Consider an herbal tea such as Valerian root or Chamomile
Increase your consumption of unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids
Reduce your sugar intake
Take up a stress-reduction practice like Yoga
Eat a balanced, nutritious diet that provides all essential vitamins and minerals

For more information on how to get better sleep, read this Skinny Ms. article.  Share with us your get-to-bed tips, by leaving a comment below.



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The SkinnyMs. team believes that all people, regardless of age, size, and fitness level, have the power to transform their lives — they just need the resources to do so. The SkinnyMs. method promotes healthy living through a combination of clean eating and regular exercise. We offer everything you need to be successful.

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  1. I would be really interested to hear your take on sleep, weight loss, and the challenges of shift work. I have been struggling with my weight since beginning a career that requires working overnight.

    1. Lara, I highly recommend journaling your food intake and the time of time eaten. Just get a spiral note pad, write down the date, exactly what you eat and the time. This may be a real eye opener. There’s no doubt that shift work, especially 3rd shift, is difficult on the body and sleep patterns. Sleep is essential to maintaining a health weight. Also, are you making time for exercise?

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