The effect of sleep on weight loss
I’d love a dollar for every client or person that comes to me in seek of advice surrounding their weight or body composition saying – “I am eating perfectly and training really hard though I’m not losing weight!”
Well……maybe that is the case, though if it is, why is it?
As it is in today’s world, life is full of distractions – hours at work, social media and forms of technology, social activity, schedules and deadlines, or perhaps any number of these things and others that contribute to the distractions that come in the form of stress and struggle.
So what does this mean?
It means there is a significant percentage of people across all demographics that aren’t sleeping adequately each night, contributing towards mild forms of sleep deprivation and/or exhaustion.
So you ask, what does this mean for one’s ability to lose weight, burn fat, and manipulate body composition?
Let me assure you, sleep is key!
Sleep deprivation is closely linked to a hormone released within the body known as ghrelin. This “hunger hormone” is responsible for increasing appetite and has been proven through studies to become more active and apparent in larger amounts in instances that the body is in a state requiring more sleep. In effect, the sleep deprived state triggers ghrelin release, in turn triggering a greater sense of hunger whether required or not.
In contrast, leptin, known as the satiety hormone, contradicts the effects of ghrelin, and is more abundant in a body’s well rested state, inhibiting the dominance of ghrelin, more effectively regulating energy metabolism appropriately.
With the above in mind, an increase in ghrelin means an increase in calorie intake, which means an increase or stability in weight – come on guys, this isn’t rocket science is it!
Now, let’s get away from the influence of ghrelin and leptin – how else does sleep effect weight loss?
A sleep deprived state has been proven to increase levels of fatigue (obviously), though not only what is seen when you look in the mirror with the bags under your eyes, though all internal regulations that occur far less efficiently without adequate rest.
The downturn in efficiency of many internal processes including thermoregulation have a direct effect on energy expenditure. With these processes being placed in jeopardy, your body is not only vulnerable to holding weight, though is highly likely to be putting it on!
Processes and hormones aside, sleep deprivation speaks loudly for habit creation and lifestyle. It is obvious to state that a sleep deprived body craves rest, quiet activity, perhaps a movie or some TV, or any other activity that requires very little movement and/or energy expenditure though holds high risk of food association.
Let me ask – when was the last time you sat through a movie or spent a day on the lounge and didn’t over eat? That you effectively expended the same number of calories as the well-rested neighbor that worked out and went to the beach that day?
Sleep is key………