Did you know there is a direct link between sleep and weight loss? And that the better quality of sleep you achieve, the better your chances of successfully losing weight?
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics National Health Survey, in 2017-2018 67% of Australians were classed as being overweight or obese. This rate is increasing, and we currently rank 5th in the world for obesity (behind the USA, Mexico, NZ and Hungary).
Let’s face it – nobody enjoys being overweight. It not only impacts our self-esteem in a negative way but also our overall health and wellbeing. Medical science has proven a link between being overweight and a greater likelihood of developing diseases such as Type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even some cancers such as, for example, breast cancer. It also has negative outcomes for our mental health and overall quality of life.
But even the best efforts to lose weight by adopting a healthier diet and exercising more can be thwarted by poor sleeping patterns and issues such as snoring.
The Connection Between Sleep and Weight Loss
Many adults are unable to achieve the recommended 7-9 hours per night of uninterrupted sleep required for optimal health and wellbeing. Insufficient amounts of quality sleep can impact everything from memory to circulation and even our social interactions.
The International Journal of Obesity has also reported a direct link between insufficient or disrupted sleep and the ability to lose weight.
Sleep directly affects appetite, digestive processes, and metabolism. As such, improving one’s quality of sleep is an important step towards maintaining ideal circadian rhythms and achieving a healthy weight. Quality sleep helps your good overall health and assists in healthy weight maintenance. If you don’t get restful sleep for enough hours per night, your general health and wellbeing will ultimately suffer.
Poor quality or insufficient sleep:
- Slows the metabolism – when this works less effectively, the body fails to convert calories to energy properly.
- Encourages the body to store calories as fat – poor quality sleep triggers overproduction of insulin and cortisol; high level of these hormones promote the body to store energy as fat, concentrated around and in the abdomen. The body can eventually become resistant to these hormones, eliciting greater production of these and triggering chronic issues like insulin resistance and Metabolic Syndrome.
- Limits our ability to make healthy eating choices – poor quality sleep can lead to cravings for fat, starches, and sugar. It can also set us up for nighttime cravings – and consuming calories in the evening makes weight gain even more likely as they are stored as fat.
- Leads to stress – which encourages poor eating habits.
- Increases appetite – by impacting the hormones that regulate hunger and feeling full after eating.
Hormonal Basis of How Sleep Affects Appetite
There is an array of ways in which poor quality of sleep translates to a healthy appetite and unfavourable patterns of behaviours that lead to weight gain.
Hormones regulate hunger and satiation (feeling full):
- Ghrelin stimulates hunger
- Leptin promotes satiation
- Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that influences mood and appetite
- Cortisol triggers cravings for fat and carbohydrates
When we don’t get enough restful sleep, levels of ghrelin rise. This stimulates hunger. Concurrently, levels of leptin drop – and you fail to recognise when you have had enough to eat. Poor sleep also shares links with serotonin level changes; high levels of cortisol trigger the release of serotonin. Consuming fat and carbohydrates lead to a greater release of serotonin.
How Can Quality Sleep Help You Lose Weight?
- Facilitates optimal resting metabolism
- Maintains healthy hormone levels
- Maintains healthy appetite
- Reduces drive to overeat
- Reduces unhealthy cravings
- Decreases total calorie intake
- Helps prevent insulin resistance and Metabolic Syndrome
- Maximises energy and drive to exercise
- Eliminates the need for daytime napping
It is very important to not fall into the trap of thinking that sleep achieved through sedatives is a healthy step towards losing weight. This is a dangerous practice and the sleep achieved by using sedatives is not natural nor healthy; sedatives should only ever be used under a doctor’s care and never for weight loss.
Oversleeping (for more than ten hours per day) is unhealthy as well. For those people who sleep too much, there is also a link with obesity, as well as depression, anxiety, inflammation, pain, cognitive issues, and diseases such as heart disease and Type II diabetes. This is because deliberate oversleeping disrupts biorhythms and throws body processes like immunity, metabolism, digestion, and appetite into disarray.
Sleep Better with SnoreMD
Sleep and weight loss go hand in hand – without quality sleep, losing weight becomes even more challenging. Stop snoring to sleep better for a healthier, more balanced lifestyle!
SnoreMD is a revolutionary oral device that has helped thousands of people worldwide get relief from snoring and related sleep issues that interrupt sleep cycles and prevent great quality sleep. It is worn in the mouth while sleeping, and it gently realigns the lower jaw to help open the airways and alleviate snoring. Incredibly comfortable to wear, it is adjustable and suitable for adults.