If you exercise regularly, maintain a balanced diet, and livin’ the hashtag-healthy-life but still finding it hard to bring down the numbers on the ol’ weighing scale, the answer might be in your sleeping habits.
But hang on, isn’t sleep counterproductive when trying to lose weight? The good news to all you sleep-lovers is that the answer to that question is, no. In fact, adults need between 7 - 9 hours of sleep every night to allow our body to get enough rest. Think of a quality sleep like a car’s maintenance; just like how your car’s performance will suffer if you frequently skip on your routine services, so will your mental and physical health be affected when you skimp on your much-needed sleep.
Now, you might be wondering, how exactly is sleep related to weight loss? To get the answer to that question, keep reading. Here are 5 reasons why getting quality sleep can help you lose weight:
1. SLEEP HELPS YOU BURN CALORIES FASTER
You read that right. Lots of people think that staying awake longer can help boost fat-burning, but that can’t be further from the truth. Our metabolism (our body’s chemical process that oversees calorie burning) is regulated by, you guessed right, sleep. The less quality sleep you get, the slower your body burn the calories you’ve consumed in order to preserve energy.
A study conducted in 2010 showed that participants who slept for 8.5 hours every night burned, on average, 400 more calories than those who slept for only 5.5 hours nightly. To put it into perspective, you burn the same amount of calories if you run nonstop for 30 minutes *horror face emoji*. A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition also found that normal sleepers burn 20% more calories after a meal compared to the sleep-deprived people.
2. SLEEP PREVENTS YOU FROM OVEREATING
You may not realise this, but you tend to eat more when you’re sleepy. This is caused by the lack of a hormone called leptin, better known as the ‘fullness hormone’ which helps keep your hunger under control. Leptin is made of fat cells, and when your body has enough energy from the food you’re eating, it’ll tell your brain that you’re full.
However, your body produces less leptin when you don’t get enough sleep, so your brain doesn’t get the signal that your body is full from the food you’re eating. This causes you to overeat and eventually, pack on the kilograms.
3. SLEEP HELPS YOU FEEL LESS SNACKY
Have you ever felt like you’re hungrier when you don’t get enough sleep? It’s not just your imagination; the culprit behind this is the hormone ghrelin, the hunger hormone. Ghrelin stimulates your appetite and signals your body that it’s time to eat, which is normal. But when you’re sleep-deprived, your body produces more ghrelin hormone, which turns you into a Gremlin as your food cravings go into overdrive.
4. SLEEP ENCOURAGES HEALTHY EATING
Okay, this may sound unlikely, but hear us out. Did you notice that when you don’t get enough sleep, you tend to crave for greasy, cheesy, sugary, and high-calorie foods? We’ve certainly had days when we craved a big, fat, greasy, double cheeseburgers when we had to work late and sleep less as a result.
There’s actually a real explanation as to why you tend to crave unhealthy foods when you’re sleep-deprived; your body will start to produce more cortisol, the stress hormone. This is why your brain tells you to turn to comfort foods to curb the ‘stress’ your body is undergoing, whether it’s a good ol’ plate of nasi lemak, or a tub of ice cream, or a large pizza swimming in cheese.
5. SLEEP HELP BOOST YOUR ENDURANCE
Even if you think you’re killing it at the gym with your HIIT training, not getting enough sleep can have an impact on your endurance and pain tolerance, making it harder for your body to give its 100 per cent. This will interfere with your weight-loss journey, making it slower and frustrating for you.
If you feel like your workout schedule is what makes it harder for you to get quality sleep, check out these best exercises that can help you sleep better.
But one of the most important things that can help you sleep better is a good mattress. After all, you spend ⅓ of your entire life on the bed, you should invest in a mattress that’s good for your health. Choosing the right mattress for you doesn’t have to be hard, though. For example, Sonno lets you try our mattress for 100 nights in the comfort of your home without any risk.
Find out more details on our website here and try a Sonno mattress today!
Now go and get some quality ZZZZZs, and help your body lose more weight while you’re dreaming.