How Sleep Affects Weight Loss
Lack of sleep is an all too frequent theme developing among my clients. Sleep is just as important as a well-balanced diet and exercise program. Recent medical studies show that sleep loss can increase hunger and affect your body´s metabolism in a way that makes weight loss more difficult. In addition, our bodies need sleep to recover and rebuild what lean muscle we´ve broken down during the day. Lack of sleep can lead to lack of recovery and eventually overtraining, which puts the brakes on your program.
The culprit is a stress hormone called cortisol, and when we are deprived of sleep, it is released in increased amounts and makes us feel hungry even when we may be full. On the flip side, losing deep sleep hours decreases growth hormone levels, which helps regulate proportions of fat and muscle in adults, so we reduce the ability to lose fat and grow muscle. Try to do something relaxing before bedtime to help wind your body down for the night. You can listen to calming music, take a warm bath, or do some light reading. Try not to eat right before bedtime as it makes your body think it should be active and therefore keeps you awake. Get your rest so you can be productive during the day!