Sleep Your Way Skinny: A Good Night's Rest Makes Dieting Twice as Effective
If you're like most of the country, you've struggled to lose weight in the past or are actively engaged in dieting. Wouldn't it be great if something as simple as getting some extra rest would make your efforts to lose fat more effective? Sleep researchers at the University of Chicago Medical Center recently studied whether sleep loss limits fat loss, and the results may surprise you. There are a number of physiological effects of sleep loss that can have a significant impact on your waistline.
Your Body Thrives with Adequate Rest
Your body's chemistry is tailored to receive adequate rest, and when your sleep levels are lacking your body looks for ways to compensate to keep you awake. Unfortunately, this means that individuals who are sleep-deprived are more likely to be hungry due to increased levels of ghrelin, a hormone that reduces how much energy you expend and also triggers feelings of hunger. Ghrelin is a sneaky hormone that is known to promote fat retention and trigger hunger -- which can easily cause overeating as well as oxidization of fat. A separate study noted that the peptide leptin, which signals to the brain that you're satiated (or full), is decreased when you're not getting enough rest. Your body tends to crave high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods when you're operating on less than optimal amounts of rest, too.
Fat Loss versus Weight Loss
While the study found that individuals lost the same amount of weight whether they slept for 8.5 hours versus 5.5 hours, unfortunately the makeup of the weight loss was dramatically different. The quantity of calories and type of food was strictly regulated across all groups, to around 1,450 calories per day for a period of two weeks. However, the group that received an additional 2-3 hours of sleep per night lost nearly half of their average 6.6 pounds as fat loss, while the group who slept less only lost an average of 1.3 pounds of fat. Without adequate sleep, study participants were losing lean muscle mass in the form of protein at a rate of 2 pounds more than the group who got enough rest. This is especially significant when you consider that learn muscle mass burns more fat, making dieting more effective with more sleep.
If losing muscle and not getting enough sleep aren't bad enough, the side effects continue. Volunteers were surveyed on their hunger levels throughout the day for the two week period, and researchers discovered that individuals who were sleep-deprived felt hungrier and had less overall energy than those who were getting plenty of rest. If the study participants had not been on a tightly restricted diet, it's a distinct possibility that they would have lost less weight or even gained weight because of their higher hunger levels throughout the program.
You probably know that you feel better after a good night's rest, but did you realize the full importance of sleep to your body's health? The increases in hunger and appetite, additional cravings and the potential loss of control of hunger signals are great reasons to be sure you're sleeping a minimum of 7 hours per night. Ready to get some rest? You're only a few steps away from the best sleep of your life on your new BedPillows.com Mattress. Our 200 night risk-free trial guarantees you'll get the full benefit of your healthy diet!