We all love our beauty sleep, it improves your mood and makes you prepped for the day ahead, but did you know that it can also help you lose weight? There is plenty of research into how sleep affects weight loss so here at OnTrack, we’ve gathered together five health benefits that getting a good night’s rest can bring.
1. Reduced Cravings
Sleep is proven to reduce cravings for all those unhealthy foods we love so much. Sleep deprivation causes an internal struggle between your hormones, ghrelin, leptin and cortisol. It is these three hormones which effect your feelings of hunger.
Cortisol is the stress hormone and is commonly associated with fat gain. If your stress levels are increased, the reward centre in your brain is activated, making you crave food when you aren’t hungry. This means that getting more sleep will reduce your stress levels and reduce your cravings, it’s a win-win situation!
2. Less Calorie Intake
Being well rested can reduce your calorie intake in many ways with the most obvious being that if you are asleep you have less chance to eat. Snacking in the evening is common and is often done whilst being inactive, such as munching biscuits in front of the TV, increasing your calories and making you gain weight.
A study on 16 men also found that tiredness affected their ability to control portion size. Those who stayed awake all night selected bigger helpings, explaining they felt hungrier than normal. Getting a good night’s sleep will, not only give you less chance to eat, but also help you reduce your portion size.
3. Improves Resting Metabolism
RMR is your resting metabolic rate and everyone’s is different. Your RMR represents the number of calories your body burns whilst asleep or at complete rest; factors such as weight, age and sex can all affect your RMR.
Studies have shown that lack of sleep can reduce your resting metabolism and cause muscle loss. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so if you are losing muscle you are also decreasing your RMR. By getting your recommended sleep, you are improving your metabolism and keeping that all-important muscle.
This one is quite a simple one, but it is just as important. If you’re feeling well-rested you’re more likely to be motivated throughout the day, increasing your chance of doing physical exercise. A study conducted on 15 men found those who were tired took part in less physical activity and at a lower intensity to the well-rested men. Feeling awake and refreshed will make you more motivated to go for a walk, go to the gym or leave the house.
5. Prevent Insulin Resistant
Insulin is crucial to weight loss as it is responsible for moving sugar from your bloodstream to your cells, before being turned into all-important energy. If cells become insulin resistant, sugar stays in the bloodstream and, as a result, your body produces more insulin. Excess insulin will increase your feelings of hunger and put you at risk of Type 2 diabetes.
One study found in the Journal of Applied Physiology tested 11 men, only allowing them to have four hours sleep for six nights. At the end of the study, the men’s ability to lower their blood sugar levels had decreased by a huge 40%, making them more likely to become insulin resistant.
We hope that these five facts have convinced you to get a good night’s sleep. The team at OnTrack are ready to offer you the support needed to live a healthier and more active lifestyle. You can take advantage of our two for one offer and bring a friend for free, like mother and daughter duo Lulu and Annette who left our retreat feeling healthy, happy, and ready to tackle their weight loss journey together.