To Boost Weight Loss, Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation could be leading you to pack on the pounds. Get more sleep, and you’ll be on a better path to weight loss. In fact, study after study indicates that people who sleep less tend to weigh more. Even an extra 15 minutes of sleep a night makes a significant difference. Here’s why:
- Getting less sleep changes how your body adjusts for appetite, thanks to two hormones: leptin and ghrelin. Ghrelin heightens appetite, and leptin tells your brain when you’re full. Leptin underproduction occurs with lack of sleep, while with ghrelin overproduction happens. Therefore, when you sleep less, you probably eat more—and the food is less likely to be healthful.
- Lack of sleep can lead to fatigue, which means you exercise less.
- Sleeping less can also lower your basal metabolic rate. This is the rate at which you burn calories doing life-sustaining activities such as keeping your temperature up and breathing.
- This may seem obvious, but the more time you’re asleep, the less opportunity there is for you to eat. It’s a simple matter of math. If you sleep one more hour a night, that is one more hour you are not awake, one more hour you’re unavailable to eat. This equates to a lower net calorie count.
Not sure if you’re getting enough sleep? Typically, you need 6½ to 8 eight hours of sleep per night. If you feel the constant need to nap, you probably need to get more sleep. Add 15 to 30 minutes of sleep per night until you’re awake and alert all day. It’s also possible that a medical issue is behind your lack of sleep. In such cases, a doctor can help you. Common medical problems that affect sleep include sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, chronic pain and emphysema.