The Link Between Sleep and Weight Loss

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The debate about the best way to achieve a healthy weight always revolves around eating and movement. If you want to look better, the most common suggestion is “eat less and move more.” But it’s not that simple. Sometimes between living your life, working and exercising, you’re forgetting to sleep enough. 

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 35% of people are sleep deprived. And when you consider that the statistic for obesity is nearly identical, it’s easy to connect the dots and discover that the connection is not a coincidence.

It’s not so much that if you sleep, you will lose weight, but if you are sleep-deprived, meaning that you are not getting enough minutes of good quality sleep, your metabolism will not function properly. When you don't sleep enough, your cortisol levels rise. This is the stress hormone that is frequently associated with fat gain. Cortisol also activates reward centers in your brain that make you want food. At the same time, lack of sleep causes us to be short tempered, more irritable and far more likely to choose unhealthy snack options.

A recent study carried out by researchers from Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland looked at the associations between sleep, stress and success at sticking to a weight loss program. They found overwhelmingly that people who had less than six hours sleep per day were less likely to achieve weight loss than those who had between six and eight hours. The researchers also concurred that high stress levels also affected weight loss. When combined with poor sleep, stressed people were about half as likely to be successful at weight loss than their less stressed counterparts who got between six and eight hours of sleep.

Of course weight issues are not all the fault of poor sleep patterns. Your bulging waistline could equally be caused by any number of different factors including sneaky snacking, poor genetics, stress, night shifts, food addictions, sugary drinks, too much alcohol, a food intolerance or an imbalance in gut bacteria. However one thing is clear if you are getting less than 6 hours quality sleep every night then your body will not be in prime 'fat burning' mode. Try and get a good sleep routine to help you manage your weight for effectively and if you need help please arrange to come in to see me for a one to one sleep consultation amie@mybodyfabulous.co.uk