Can You Lose Weight By Sleeping?

By author photo Jenny Craig Team


When it comes to weight loss, you may think you’re doing everything right. But despite your best attempts, nothing seems to be changing, and reaching your goal is starting to feel like an elusive dream. You are not alone.

In our sleep-deprived society, weight gain appears to be more the norm rather than the exception. This is because sleep and weight loss are intricately tied to many different hormonal and metabolic processes. The amount of sleep you get impacts those processes and how your metabolism functions.

Individuals who are sleep deprived, or who suffer from sleep disorders, can experience a misalignment in their circadian rhythm. Circadian Rhythm is your 24-hour internal clock that controls your cycle of sleep and wakefulness.

When your circadian rhythm is out of whack, and you are low on sleep, metabolic processes inside your body can be disrupted. This is because during sleep, all your cells undergo a critical process of regeneration, and your hormonal systems take that time to regroup. If you skimp on rest, your cells don’t have the time they need to recover and your hormones can go askew.

Hormones are important when it comes to regulating your appetite and hunger cues, and they are a vital component in helping you stay on track during your weight loss efforts. Furthermore, sleep provides an essential period for your mind and body to recover from busy days and the challenges that come with them. Disrupted metabolic processes can lead to weight gain instead of weight loss, despite eating healthy and exercising.

  • Stop Mindlessly Munching – When you don’t hit the hay for long enough, your body can’t adequately control the production of leptin and ghrelin in your body, which are two hormones that help you manage hunger.
  • When you’re suffering from a lack of sleep, the levels of cortisol in your body rise due to stress associated with being tired, which can lead to weight gain.8 If there are high levels of ghrelin and cortisol running through your body, it can shut down the satiation centres of your brain, leaving you feeling ravenous and prompting you to crave foods you shouldn’t eat.
  • Additionally, your complex decision-making centre of the brain may be impaired, so that all those cravings you’re feeling in the moment, suddenly seem like a great decision. You may be tempted to chow down on unhealthy foods in larger quantities, at times you usually wouldn’t eat, and end up regretting it later.
  • Exercise More Often – Does lacing up your tennis shoes sound like a good idea when you can barely keep your eyes open? Your workout routine may slide to the wayside when you’re tired. Sleep is also critical in helping your muscles repair themselves after a tough workout. (This is why athletes stress the importance of a good night’s sleep). If you want to improve your athletic and fitness performance, be sure to get plenty of Z’s.
  • When it comes to sleep and weight loss, take your rest seriously. Those 7 to 9 hours a night make a world of difference when it comes to your health, fitness, clarity, and mood. However, getting more sleep is often easier said than done. Use these sleep tips help you unplug and catch more Z’s.
  • Tips to Get More Sleep – Can a good night’s sleep help you lose weight? Most likely, YES! When you get enough sleep, your body is better able to regulate the hormones that make you feel hungry and full.
  • While staying up working means you may get more accomplished throughout the day, depriving your body of sleep doesn’t allow for you to recover from the day’s activities, which includes exercise and digestion.
  • For adults, it’s recommended to get about 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Here are some tips on how you can get some shuteye earlier:
  • Limit computer, TV and phone time before bed – The light from these electronic devices, as well as whatever is on, may cause anxiety, stress or excitement that may prevent going to bed sooner. Try to get away from these devices at least an hour before you want to go to bed.
  • Make your bed a place of rest- Invest in sheets and pillows that will make your bed a welcome space to be in. This also means don’t bring your work into bed with you so you can truly let your brain unwind from the day’s events.
  • Evaluate your bedroom – Depending on where you live, you may hear traffic outside, see the bright lights of a cityscape or have a room that may be too hot or cold depending on the season. Look into curtains, white noise machines, fans, etc. to create a space that allows you to be comfortable before bedtime.

Making your health a priority means making smart decisions, like getting enough sleep, for well-rounded success. Nutrition is part of this equation, and Jenny Craig would love to help!

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