The link between sleep and weight loss
A causal relationship has been identified between poor sleep and increased weight gain. Sleep debt, characterised by an ongoing lack of sleep, is linked with metabolic disorders and an increased risk of chronic health conditions. A number of theories have been proposed to explain the impact of sleep on weight gain such as those concerning food choices, appetite, metabolism and physical activity.
How sleep affects weight loss
- Food choices
It’s been thought that we may actually consume more calories following an especially bad night’s sleep. The reasoning behind this is due to the fact that our decision making may become worse when we go to make the choice between healthy and unhealthy food. The underlying reasoning is that irritability, an increase in fatigue and a decline mood each contribute to impacting our ability to resist temptation.
Ghrelin and leptin are the essential neurotransmitters that dictate appetite. Ghrelin stimulates appetite while leptin suppresses hunger. Sleep is believed to help mediate these neurotransmitter levels, one study revealed that higher levels of ghrelin and lower levels of leptin were observed in sleep deprived participants. Therefore, sleep quality and adequacy is important in avoiding possible weight gain.
A lack of sleep can also contribute to increased levels of cortisol, the hormone that triggers the release of energy and the storage of fat in the body. Therefore, it’s important to ensure sufficient sleep to enable steady metabolic processes.
- Physical activity
Motivation and energy typically take a hit with a poor night’s sleep. This can impact the desire to exercise and take part in physical activity, which can interfere with an exercise regime and weight loss. Furthermore, the likelihood of injury can increase, as with tiredness comes a loss of balance and inability to coordinate optimally.
Tips to improve sleep quality
- Ensure a healthy sleep schedule where you are getting 6-8 hours of good quality sleep per night.
- Exercise regularly to help regulate your circadian rhythm so that you can sleep easier at night.
- Sleeping conditions should consist of a cool, dark room that’s quiet to promote deep sleep.
- Sleep supplements can help improve sleep quality. Treatments such as Nytol and Sominex can help induce deeper sleep where sleep is previously shallow with frequent waking during the night.
Tips to improve weight loss results
- Exercise is crucial to weight loss when it comes to a combined strategy alongside diet. By increasing your calorie expenditure so that you have a net expenditure of calories in relation to dietary intake – weight loss can be maximised.
- Dieting is another important strategy, the calorie restriction diet, zone diet and ketogenic diet each offer promising weight loss results.
- Weight loss treatments are another highly effective solution to weight loss; especially when coupled with healthy lifestyle choices. Weight loss treatment such as Orlistat and Alli can be purchased from reliable sources such as Pharmica – the UK’s trusted online pharmacy.