A peaceful 7-9 hours of sleep is healthy for anyone, not just those working to get rid of extra weight. Life is fast paced, and in the race to do more, we can often neglect our body, and proper rest is often the first to suffer.
If you’re focused on losing weight and getting more healthy, you may think that eating right and exercising is all it takes. However, a good night’s sleep is almost equally important and plays an important role, not only in helping you stay fit physically, but also mentally and emotionally. That’s why many of my clients use hypnosis for better sleep.
Here are some reasons why sleep is so critical for better health and essential for weight loss.
Sleeping is helpful for stress management:
Sleep is a powerful stress reducer. A good night’s rest improves mood, concentration and decision making. Feeling well rested allows you to be more patient, which is helpful during stressful times. When you are patient, you’re less likely to make a beeline to the cupboard for snacks during a stressful time.
Lack of sleep disrupts 'hunger' hormones:
In simple terms, the hormone 'Ghrelin' signals hunger to the brain, and the hormone "Leptin' suppresses hunger and signal 'fullness' to the brain. Lack of sleep has been known to cause an increase in Ghrelin and decrease in Leptin, leading to an increase of appetite. Lack of Leptin can also cause cravings of the 'fried and fatty' variety.
Sleeping is necessary for muscle mass:
One of the goals for many people when they are working to lose weight is to also gain muscle. Our body creates and repairs our muscles during the non-REM cycle of sleep (also known as deep sleep). Non-REM sleep accounts for about 40% of your sleep. During this cycle of sleep, the blood flow to your muscles increases, providing extra oxygen and nutrients, thus aiding in their recovery.
Lack of sleep causes fatigue:
No one can deny how refreshing a good night’s sleep is. On the other hand, lack of sleep causes fatigue, which in turn can make you lose motivation for exercise or staying on track with healthier decisions.
Sleep Helps Prevent Insulin Resistance
Insulin is a hormone that helps control your body's blood sugar level and metabolism -- the process that turns the food you eat into energy. It has been found that sleep deprivation affects the body's capability of using insulin. This in turn leads to cells becoming insulin resistant, which can cause weight gain and diabetes.
Lack of sleep interferes with decision making
Lack of sleep has often been described to have similar effects as being high or inebriated. It interferes with decision making, which in turn leads to poor choices like over-eating and succumbing to cravings.
While it's true that there are other factors such as diet and exercise that have a direct influence on weight loss, getting a good night's sleep is one of the building blocks of a healthy lifestyle and can assist you on your journey to become your ideal weight.