We have often heard sleep experts and dieticians say how a good diet and timing of meals can contribute towards a better sleep quality. Similarly, the key towards shedding extra weight from your body is giving yourself the amount of rest you need in your night sleep. A poor sleep health can not only make it harder to follow a diet and an exercise routine regularly but can also lead to conditions like indigestion, obesity, diabetes, etc. So, without wasting much time, let’s understand how sleep affects weight loss with the help of this extensive piece on sleep and weight loss.
#01 Fulfil the required amount of sleep
According to most sleep experts, a total of 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep in the night is required by the body to achieve a restful sleep. Numerous studies in the past have linked sleep deprivation with the threat of obesity. According to a research paper presented by the American Thoracic Society International Conference, adult females sleeping less than 5 hours in the night were found to be 32% more prone to experience weight gain. The right amount of sleep is also crucial to maintain a good metabolism as people with a poor sleep quality are known to experience a lower resting metabolic rate (RMR.) It is this RMR which records how much energy is being burnt by the body when it is at a state of complete rest. Several crucial bodily functions such as blood circulation, breathing, organ function, etc., are regulated by the body’s RMR.
#02 The right way to exercise
The relationship between weight loss and sleeping is determined by three important factors- sleep schedule, workout routine and dietary pattern. How well you sleep at night decides how efficiently you are able to follow your workout sessions. A restful night of sleep helps tissue recovery, reduces chances of injury, increases muscle mass and reduces the risk of drowsiness and fatigue. Make good use of your restful night sleep to perform strength training and bodyweight exercises apart from your usual aerobics as these are very helpful in burning calories. Follow a sleep schedule where you sleep every day at the same time and wake up by yourself, preferably in the early morning so that you can place your workout session in the natural sunlight. Try not to perform heavy exercises too close to bedtime as the increased body heat and stimulation in the body can make it harder to fall asleep easily.
#03 Maintain the optimum bedroom temperature
Sleeping in a cool bedroom environment is not just all about the comfort. A past study published by the National Library of Medicine said that the sleeping temperature controls the insulin sensitivity among human beings. A heightened insulin sensitivity helps the cells to break down glucose in the body efficiently. The researchers found that amount of the calorie burnt and metabolism rate increases when the bedroom temperature is maintained around 66 degrees. To help maintain a cool sleeping experience, concerned readers can also opt for mattresses that ensure proper heat distribution and provide a cooling effect such as those made of gel infused memory foam. Read more about such mattresses available under 500 USD at this sleep blog.
#04 Bedtime rituals to lose weight
Bedtime rituals are not only a great way to unwind before retiring to bed but can also help you lose weight in the process. Taking a cup of herbal tea such as peppermint tea or oolong tea can help your mind relax and make your body lose unwanted fat. Instead of doing heavy exercise that can stimulate your body, indulge in light bedtime yoga that can help you fall asleep and tone down the fat. Some bedtime yoga poses such as the Vajrayana and the reclined butterfly pose help in digestion and aide in preparing the mind for the sleep ahead. Some health experts even opine that as less as 10 to 15 minutes of mindful meditation can contribute towards weight loss and help prevent indigestion and acid reflux. Both these conditions are highly prevalent among individuals experiencing obesity.
#05 Quality sleep for proper appetite
Failing to achieve a good quality sleep can lead to a drastic change in the hormonal balance of the body. Particularly, the hormone leptin that suppresses hunger and provides a satiated feeling is produced in lower amounts. Inversely, the hormone ghrelin that invokes a feeling of hunger is produced in larger quantity. Such a heightened appetite even after being full can disrupt anyone’s diet and make it difficult to lose weight. Another major hormone that is affected by a lack of sleep is cortisol or the stress hormone. A heightened amount of stress is linked with rise in abdominal obesity and an increased craving for junk food and sugary food item. This is because the habit of stress eating can lead to higher levels of insulin in the body which brings down the blood sugar level.
#06 Sleeping position matters
The way you sleep can have a tremendous effect on the ease with which you are able to carry on your weight loss program. The overall best sleeping position- sleeping on your back- that is good for the natural alignment of the body’s framework is also great for digestion and heart health. Side sleepers should however try to opt only for their left side as sleeping on the right can create conflict with the food passage and the direction in which the food burns in the stomach thus creating conditions like acid reflux and heartburn. The worst position of course remains the one in which you sleep on your stomach as it, unsurprisingly enough, creates too much stress on the belly and make it hard to burn calories while you sleep. We would therefore suggest that you gradually cultivate the habit of sleeping flat on your back to maintain an all-round healthy living.
There is no one right way to sleep in order to lose weight. It is in fact a process that needs to be followed strictly over time and watch yourself losing the excess weight from your body. Apart from keeping in mind the tips mentioned above, you can also invest in sleep aids like an eye mask and noise-cancelling earplugs or sleep gadgets like fitness trackers that measure the amount of calorie burnt every day to aide in the process of sleep weight loss.