You ever feel like you never get enough sleep? We all know that a good nights sleep provides many positive health benefits, but with our busy hectic lives where we juggle our time with our job, school, family, the significant other, or kids, it can be tough to fit enough time in for sleep.
Well, it is time you add one more reason why you should get a good night’s sleep.
It’s Time You Sleep the Weight Off Naturally
While it sounds almost too good to be true, new research has shown that getting a good night’s sleep can not only prevent obesity, but can actually help you lose weight too. This is because your hormonal activity is tied to your sleeping patterns and certain hormones that control appetite are more balanced with the proper amount of sleep.
Over two dozen studies have found that people who sleep less tend to weigh more. One such study was done over a 16 year period and with almost 70,000 women by Sanjay Patel, M.D., a researcher at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland Ohio. Dr. Patel and his partners found that women in the study who slept on average 5 hours or less a night were 30% more likely to gain over 30 pounds than those who got more rest.
Many health experts also believe that lack of sleep is a major reason for America’s obesity epidemic. According to the National Sleep Foundation 2013 Bedroom Poll, Americans got an average of only 6 hours and 31 minutes of sleep each night. This is below the recommended average of 7 to 8 hours.
How It Works
The hormones responsible for appetite are called leptin and ghrelin. These appetite hormones control the feelings of hunger and fullness. Leptin is produced in our fat cells and sends signals to our brain when we are full. Ghrelin is produced in the gastrointestinal tract and stimulates appetite.
What happens when we don’t get enough sleep is that leptin levels drop which means you don’t feel as satisfied when you eat. Ghrelin levels will rise which means your body will crave more food throughout the day. This hormonal imbalance combination promotes overeating throughout the day. Those surplus calories you would consume get added to your belly, butt, legs, arms, and thighs.
The Bottom Line
Getting the right amount of sleep each night is important to not only prevent weight loss, but to also lose weight. You can actually sleep the weight off, however it is important to note that you need to balance your sleep. This means that you shouldn’t oversleep as that can also contribute to weight gain just as much as not sleeping enough.
I recommend you get an average of 7 hours and 30 minutes sleep time each night to experience the best benefits for weight loss. It is also important that you stick to the recommended 7 – 8 hours of sleep each night.
I have been guilty of getting too little sleep before with my busy schedule. After learning about the negative effects too little sleep can have on your body I’ve attempted to get 7 hours and 30 minutes on average each week.
An excellent tool I use to track my sleep is a wearable pedometer. These wearable pedometers can track when you fall asleep, your sleeping patterns throughout the night, and even how many times and how long you wake up at night. These high tech wearable pedometers have many more features than just tracking how many steps you take each day and the sleeping feature is one of the newer features they offer.
Are you getting enough sleep?