Download Our Full Article Here
Sleep to Lose Weight

Sleep to Lose Weight

Nov 30, 2020

If you are using diet and exercise to lose weight but are not finding success, look at your sleep. How can sleep help you lose weight?  It is recommended that adults get 7-8 hours of sleep each night.  But most people get far less. 

If you improve your sleep time, you may find to these benefits:

  • The ability to make better food choices
  • Reduced carb and sugar cravings
  • Better balance in the hormones that regulate blood sugar
  • Better balance in the hormones that regulate hunger and fullness
  • A potential improvement in your metabolism
  • Increased energy

 

According to the CDC, 71.6% of Americans are overweight or obese.  Almost half of the population is trying to lose weight.  Most people try to slim down by focusing on diet and exercise. But nutrition and activity are just a part of the story. There is an often overlooked component to weight loss: sleep! Can sleep help you lose weight?  The answer is yes.

 

For years we’ve been taught that the way to lose weight is to tip the calorie scale so that you are expending more calories than you take in.  

Body weight depends on more than calories.  It’s actually a hormonal thing.  

 

Your body produces hormones that control hunger and regulate metabolism.  When you feel hungry, your body releases a hormone called ghrelin, causing you to feel hungry.  When you get full, your body releases leptin, a hormone that causes you to feel full so you stop eating.

How to Lose Weight While You Sleep

Sleep and Appetite

So what do hunger hormones have to do with sleep?  Sleep has a profound effect on the hormones that trigger hunger and fullness.  Have you ever noticed that you feel hungrier during the day after a poor night’s sleep?  That’s because when you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces more of the hormone that triggers hunger (ghrelin) and less of the hormone that triggers fullness (leptin).

 

A study of over 1,000 people found that the levels of these two hormones are tied to sleep duration.  Those who lacked adequate sleep had 14.9% higher ghrelin levels and 15.5% lower leptin levels. Lack of sleep causes you to feel hungrier throughout the day because your hunger hormones are elevated and your fullness hormones are lowered.

 

This same study found a connection between inadequate sleep and increased body weight.  The people who consistently slept less than 8 hours per night had a higher BMI (body mass index) than those who slept at least 8 hours.

 

The sleep/hormone connection doesn’t end there.  Another hormone, called cortisol, also increases when you lack enough sleep.  Cortisol is the primary stress hormone.  And it may increase your appetite.

 

Sleep also affects the hormones that regulate blood sugar.  Insulin, also known as the fat-storage hormone, controls the level of glucose (sugar) in your blood. When you don’t get enough sleep it affects your insulin levels and your ability to break down glucose (sugar).  Studies show that inadequate sleep and its effect on insulin can increase the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.   

Have you ever thought about taking a sleep program instead of a weightloss program?

 

*click* to Learn more about the Simple Sleep Program

Sleep and Food Choices

Have you ever noticed that when you don’t get enough sleep, you tend to overeat the next day?  And you will likely crave less than healthy foods, like sugar and processed carbs. 

Good sleepers tend to eat fewer calories and make better food choices. 

 

The frontal lobe of the brain is in charge of decision-making and self-control.  Lack of sleep dulls this area of the brain, so it becomes harder to make good food choices. There is also evidence that sleep deprivation elevates the effects of food on the reward centers of the brain.  

 

So lack of sleep creates a recipe for overeating unhealthy foods.  You crave sugar, carbs, and comfort foods.  These foods feel more pleasurable than usual.  And your self-control is reduced.  Sleep deprivation sets you up to rely on unhealthy foods, which will certainly lead to weight-gain.

 

Good sleepers tend to eat fewer calories.  This is tied to the hunger and fullness hormones mentioned above, but there are other factors as well.

Sleep and Metabolism

Metabolism is the rate at which your body uses the fuel (calories) that you take in while you eat.  The higher your metabolism, the more quickly you burn through the calories that you eat. 

 

People with slow metabolisms tend to weigh more.  This is because their bodies are not efficient at burning the calories they take in.  The slower your metabolism, the harder it is to lose weight.

 

A variety of factors affect your metabolism including your age, weight, height, sex, muscle mass, mineral balance, and your dieting history.  But sleep is a major metabolic factor as well.  In one study, fifteen men were kept awake for 24 hours. Afterward, their metabolic rate after eating was 20% lower than normal.  And that’s after only one missed night of sleep!  Raising your metabolism can help you sleep to lose weight.

 

Simple Habits to Break the Cycle

Eat and Drink for a Good Night’s Sleep

What you choose to eat and drink will affect your sleep. Here are some tips on foods to include and avoid to help you get those z’s:

  • Avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening.  It may give you a boost at the time, but caffeine can stay in your system for hours and affect your sleep.
  • Avoid alcohol in the evening.  Alcohol can have a relaxing effect helping you fall asleep.  But it can also cause sleep disruptions during the night.
  • Avoid heavy meals before bed.  Sleep is more restorative if your body isn’t bogged down with digesting a heavy meal.  
  • If you suffer from acid reflux (heartburn), avoid trigger foods in the evening.
  • Eat a small, balanced snack before bed.  Low blood sugar in the middle of the night can interfere with your sleep.  A small healthy snack may help you maintain more stable blood sugar levels throughout the night.
  • Stay hydrated throughout the day.  Good hydration provides your body with the fluids it needs to eliminate toxins while you sleep.

Balance Your Blood Sugar

Blood sugar balance can affect your sleep.  It’s all about the hormones, remember?  How you eat during the day will affect your blood sugar at night.  Having snacks with a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats can level out your blood sugar.  Keep some of these types of snacks on-hand to keep your blood sugar balanced throughout the day so that you can sleep well at night:

  • Nuts and fruit 
  • Whole-food protein bars like RX Bars or Epic Bars
  • Whole milk yogurt with berries (opt for plain yogurt and add your own natural sweetener like honey)
  • Veggies and hummus
  • Apples and nut butter
  • Chia seed pudding (check Pinterest for recipe ideas)

Develop a Sleep Routine

Do you have a bedtime routine?  We usually have one for our kids.  But adults tend to skip the routine. We get lost in our technology, surfing social media or checking emails.  Then we just roll over and try to go to sleep. And we wonder why we have so much trouble shutting our brains off.

 

A bedtime routine can make a huge difference in your sleep quality.  It doesn’t have to be complicated or elaborate. Your bedtime routine can be as simple as putting away devices and lowering the lights 30 minutes before bed.  Try making a gratitude list or reading a good book for a few minutes before you go to sleep.  These simple steps can work wonders!

Reduce Snoring

Once you start to shed those excess pounds you may see improvements in snoring and sleep apnea.  Reduced upper body weight can help reduce restrictions in airways and nasal passages.  Maintaining a healthy weight may help you avoid the need for upper airway surgery or extended CPAP use.

 

If snoring is interfering with your sleep, it might be time to invest in a few anti-snoring sleeping aids.  These are some of our favorites:

  • iSense Sleep Smart Pillow
  • Goodnite Smart Anti-Snoring Pillow 10 Minds Motion Pillow
  • Zeeq Smart Pillow

 

How can you sleep to lose weight?  The key is getting consistent good-quality sleep.  The Simple Sleep program will revolutionize your sleep with a simple, step-by-step process.

 

You will learn how to:

  • Turn your bedroom into a sleep oasis
  • Create your ideal sleep routine
  • Figure out the best sleep positions
  • Find the right mattress and pillows for you
  • Incorporate movement and stretching to improve your sleep
  • Manage physical and emotional stress
  • Hack your sleep cycle to fit sleep into your schedule

 

CLICK--> Revolutionize your sleep


References: 

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/obesity-overweight.htm
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db313.htm
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC535701/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15602591/
  5. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sleep-and-weight-loss
  6. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/excessive-sleepiness/health-impact/sleep-longer-lower-blood-glucose-levels
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2857625/
  8. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-reasons-why-good-sleep-is-important#1
  9. https://www.healthline.com/health/sugar-detox-symptoms
  10. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sleep-and-weight-loss
  11. https://www.healthline.com/health/sugar-detox-symptoms
  12. https://www.healthline.com/health/drinking-water-before-bed#positive-effects
  13. https://www.healthline.com/health/home-remedies-for-sleep-apnea#treatment

Don't miss a Simple Turn!

New tips, motivation, and programs delivered to your inbox. 

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.