If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight this year, you are not alone. Nearly 45 million Americans go on a diet each year, spending over $33 billion each year on weight loss aids. On any given day, 29% of men and 44% of women are on a diet. If you have decided that 2020 will be the year that you finally lose weight, you might want to consider one of the most compelling (and unexpected) things you can do to help you to successfully accomplish your weight loss goals. Are you ready? Here it is: Get a good night’s rest.
How can better (and more) sleep help you lose weight? By resetting your circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm manages sleep cycles, and also synchronizes other critical physiological rhythms that will give you the best possible chance of achieving your weight loss dreams. Here, we’re sharing 9 ways that sleep can help you reach your weight loss goals.
1. Adequate sleep increases resting metabolism.
Resting metabolism is the energy your body expends to accomplish its basic functions, such as breathing and digesting. Basically, it’s the work your body does while you do nothing. People with a higher resting metabolism burn more calories while “resting” than those with a lower resting metabolism. Thankfully, sleep improves your resting metabolism, making it easier to burn calories and shed pounds!
2. Sufficient sleep prevents insulin resistance and regulates blood glucose levels.
When you eat, your blood sugar rises. In order to regulate blood sugar, insulin is released and takes sugars from the bloodstream to other organs in the body to be used as energy. When excess sugar enters the bloodstream, cells become insulin resistant and the body produces more insulin to compensate. The increase in insulin causes an increase in hunger and signals the body to store more calories as fat. Studies have shown that only a single night of sleep deprivation can induce insulin resistance, as well as contribute to glucose intolerance. All of this boils down to one thing: we should all be prioritizing sleep.
3. Sleep deprivation disrupts the hormones responsible for regulating appetite.
Leptin and ghrelin are two hormones that control our appetite. Leptin suppresses appetite while ghrelin stimulates hunger. Studies have shown that a proper night’s sleep increases hormone levels of leptin and decreases ghrelin levels, making you less prone to overeating and allowing you to feel “full” throughout the day. That’s what we call a win-win!
4. A good night’s sleep helps fight off cravings.
Those lacking sleep tend to find other ways to boost energy — usually with excess calories. Additionally, feeling lethargic due to sleep deprivation often leads people to gravitate towards foods higher in sugar and fat due to their rapid high energy effect. Of course, we all know the effects these foods have on our weight loss goals.
5. A healthy amount of sleep leads to healthier diet choices.
Poor sleep can alter and reduce activity in the frontal lobe, which controls decision-making and self-control. In fact, studies show that the reward center in the brain is more attracted to food when we are sleep deprived. So, not only will your ability to make healthy decisions be impaired, but your willingness to pay more and eat more will increase as the reward center gets more stimulated.
6. Lack of sleep can lead to late-night snacking.
Staying up later can lead to increased hunger, creating more opportunities to increase daily calorie intake. Studies on sleep deprivation have shown that excess calories are consumed from snacks after dinner. In addition, snacking often takes place while binge-watching your favorite TV show, which can distort portion control, causing you to eat past hunger and feeling “full.” We’ve all been there — eating a whole bag of chips or popcorn because we’re so absorbed in the latest episode of our favorite show.
7. Not enough sleep can reduce or undo the benefits of dieting.
Sleep contributes to the maintenance of fat-free body mass. That’s because energy expenditure (the calories we burn) significantly decreases for sleep-deprived individuals. When we don’t burn calories, we don’t burn fat, either. Research has consistently shown that the fraction of body weight lost as fat to individuals who are well rested is about 56%. However, that percentage decreases for those who are sleep deprived, and loss in fat-free body mass considerably increases. The long and short of it? Sleep more to burn off fat.
8. Aligning your circadian rhythm with what you eat can maximize weight loss and overall health.
The circadian rhythm is a master clock that determines each of our daily rhythms. It is responsible for synchronizing our bodies with the day-night cycle and plays a role in regulating body weight and metabolic health. Metabolic syndrome, factors in the body that are connected to cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, can manifest when our circadian rhythm is off. Both our “internal clock” and our peripheral tissues, like the liver and pancreas, are affected by metabolic changes. This means that circadian disruption can result in high cholesterol, insulin resistance, and obesity.
Another fun fact: the time of day you choose to eat can alter your circadian clock, making the same meal more likely to be stored as fat or raised insulin levels when eaten at different times.
9. Lack of sleep may change our sense of taste to favor high fat and sweet foods.
In a recent experimental study of adults, less sleep was related to a taste and craving for high fat and sweet foods. This means a lack of sleep may up your cravings for unhealthy foods, and that foods high in savory or sour taste may be temporarily more appealing. These results tell us that our food choices are influenced by a lack of sleep and that our taste changes based on these influences.
Weight loss starts with sleep — and RestoreZ
By now, you probably understand the power that sleep can have on your weight loss goals. Hopefully, you also see just how important the circadian rhythm is to your weight loss success, as well. Sleep and circadian rhythms go hand-in-hand; when one is off-track, so is the other.
That’s why RestoreZ has created a line of circadian rhythm sleep supplements, designed to make sure your sleep and metabolic cycles are aligned. Traditional sleep aids can throw you further off-track and cause drowsiness that leads to cravings and poor decision-making. RestoreZ, on the other hand, is formulated to tune into your body’s natural rhythms, helping you fall asleep when you’re ready and wake up refreshed. With proper sleep and nutrition, your appetite and metabolism will be better supported… and those weight loss goals will be that much more attainable. To support your weight loss goals with better, more restorative sleep, check out our line of circadian rhythm sleep supplements today.