How Sleep Can Help You Lose Weight
Does sleep affect weight loss? Quite simply, the answer is yes. Since sleep affects weight loss, it stands to reason it also plays a role in weight gain. Learn why sleep is important for weight loss, but also for maintaining a healthy weight.
Sleep is one of the body’s most critical functions. The problem? Most American adults don’t get enough sleep. While adults need a full 7-9 hours of sleep each night for optimal function, most adults barely get 7 hours of sleep per night. Over time, the lack of sleep can slow the metabolism, resulting in weight gain. This is especially true for women, who consistently report a higher incidence of insomnia than men. Women must also navigate through a range of hormonal changes at different phases of life that can also disrupt sleep and cause weight gain.
Why is Sleep Important for Weight Loss?
Numerous research studies and medical professionals have identified a clear link between lack of sleep and increased risk for obesity. According to the National Institutes of Health, sleep is an important modulator of metabolic functions.
“…sleep loss has been shown to result in metabolic and endocrine alterations, including decreased glucose tolerance, decreased insulin sensitivity, increased evening concentrations of cortisol, increased levels of ghrelin, decreased levels of leptin, and increased hunger and appetite. Recent epidemiological and laboratory evidence confirm previous findings of an association between sleep loss and increased risk of obesity.”
In addition, people with sleep disorders such as sleep apnea are also at risk for weight gain, creating a vicious cycle that can be hard to break away from. Left untreated, sleep apnea disrupts the sleep cycle, so you never feel fully rested. Disruptions to the sleep cycle make you more susceptible to overeating, causing more weight gain, which in turn worsens the sleep apnea. Lack of adequate sleep causes the body to make more ghrelin, a hormone that signals hunger in the brain.
Lack of sleep also causes the body to make less leptin, a hormone that signals fullness to the brain, leaving you feeling hungry, and increasing your appetite.
Sleepy brains are also impaired, so you’re also less likely to decide on a healthy snack, and more likely to choose high-carbohydrate sugary treats to fuel your energy. Sleep loss results in increased levels of cortisol, the stress hormone that’s also associated with increased appetite. Sleep-deprived people also have less motivation to exercise because they’re tired! It really is a vicious circle. But it can be broken!
Break Free of the Sleep Loss/Weight Gain Cycle
While getting a full 8 hours of sleep can help maintain a healthy weight, it’s difficult for those who have an undiagnosed sleep disorder to get the quality rest they need. That’s why we’ve created our ‘Sleep to Slender’ program. Our licensed sleep providers will customize a medical weight loss plan based on your needs, including nutritional counseling and an exercise plan individualized for you. In Sleep to Slender, you will be medically supervised throughout your entire journey so that you will achieve the best success. Our program will include appetite suppressants, vitamin supplements, nutritional education, and meal and exercise plans to fit every patient’s personal needs.
Enroll in a complimentary Sleep to Slender event to see how we can help you get better sleep and lose weight! Attendees for this event will be entered to win a FREE Sleep to Slender consultation from Valley Sleep Center ($185 Value).