How Sleep Affects Your Fat Loss

In this blog, you’ll learn…

  • Just how important sleep is
  • How your hormones are affected by your sleep
  • And how these hormones affect your fat loss
  • How you can use food and exercise to get better sleep

How Important is Sleep?

We have always been told how important sleep is, but in today’s fast-paced world, we tend to take sleep for granted, all too often giving up a few hours of sleep in order to get more done. This tradeoff comes at a cost, however, and can be very damaging to our overall health and detrimental to fat loss.

Research has shown that lack of sleep can play a big part of weight gain, mainly due to the imbalance of hormones. When you don’t get enough sleep, or your quality of sleep suffers, your metabolism suffers, as well as does your body’s ability to determine when you should eat and when you should stop eating.

Hormones and Fat Loss

Ghrelin is the hormone that tells your body when you need to eat, while the hormone leptin tells your body when to stop eating. Together, they work to balance your energy levels. When you lack sleep, these two hormones become imbalanced. People who get 5 hours or less a night, tend to produce more ghrelin and less leptin, causing the person to eat more. This can work against your fat loss goals, especially as your metabolism slows due to lack of sleep [1]. When you don’t get enough sleep, it increases your risk of obesity and diabetes [2].

To make sure that you are getting enough sleep, it is recommended that you get at least 7 hours of quality sleep per night and there are a few things you can do, besides setting aside the appropriate amount of time needed for sleep [3].

Food and Exercise’s Effect on Sleep

What you eat can play a big part in the amount and quality of sleep that you get as certain foods can help you fall asleep. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that we get from our diet and it also causes sleepiness by creating serotonin. A great food that can be used to fight fat loss can also be used to help you get more sleep and that is the sweet potato, which has the natural muscle relaxant, potassium. The sweet potato is a good choice for a snack before bedtime as it is full of healthy carbohydrates that help allow more tryptophan into the bloodstream than other amino acids [4] [5].

Another way to ensure that you get better sleep is to exercise. Studies show that people who exercise regularly, regardless of what time of day they workout, sleep longer and better than those who do not. What was found was people who exercised for 150 minutes or more a week, saw a 65% increase in sleep quality [6].

Like diet, sleep is crucial to fat loss and your overall health. Lack of sleep has the ability to slow our split-second decision-making, can affect mental health and lead to depression and anxiety and can cause us to be less productive during our waking hours [7].

⚡ Related: Learn how you can hack your sleep for faster fat loss!

The foods you eat on your meal plan and the exercises you do can help contribute to getting a better night’s sleep. All three of these things, nutrition, exercise and sleep, all play a part in successful fat loss.

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