Losing weight can be challenging, and maintaining your desired weight can be even more difficult. If you exercise consistently and eat healthy, well-balanced meals but are still struggling to lose weight, it may be due to a lack of sleep.
Many people make the mistake of focusing only on exercise and diet when trying to manage their weight, but sleep is just as important to consider. A good night’s rest can do wonders for your body, and not getting enough can negatively impact your health.
It Increases Appetite
Lack of sleep, or inconsistent sleep, increases appetite and unhealthy food choices. Sleep is necessary for regulating hormone levels in the body, including leptin and ghrelin, which directly relate to appetite. Ghrelin is directly linked to hunger, and leptin is connected to feeling full. When you don’t get enough sleep, these hormones increase, which leads to increased appetite.
This means that overeating is much more likely, and you’re also more likely to make poor food choices. Continuously not getting enough sleep can lead to patterns of overeating, which can greatly affect weight management and loss. Additionally, overeating at night is known to disrupt sleep, which can cause a vicious cycle.
It Makes for Poor Decisions
The brain needs around 7-9 hours of sleep every night. If the brain doesn’t receive this, toxins can start to build up in the brain. In turn, energy levels will be lower and poor decision-making will come into play, causing you to make bad decisions about weight management and other things in your life.
When the brain lacks sleep, food also becomes a bigger stimulant in the brain’s reward centers. This means the body will start making decisions that will give it more calories.
It Causes More Late-Night Eating
By staying up late, more opportunities to late-night snack arise. When we eat late at night, the metabolism is still working and doesn’t rest the way it should. This can cause you to not fall asleep quickly, it can also affect how deeply you sleep, and it can also cause acid reflux symptoms. It also throws your body out of sync, negatively impacting your health through increased blood pressure, blood sugar, metabolism changes, and weight gain.
Try to avoid eating at least 2-3 hours before going to sleep. If you face nighttime heartburn, stopping even earlier will be crucial to being able to get enough sleep. Ensure you eat enough earlier in the day to avoid becoming hungry at night, and make sure you set a routine of going to bed at the same time every night. This will prevent you from feeling hunger pangs by setting a routine your body is used to.
If you do find that you absolutely cannot sleep because you’re hungry, choose a smaller, lighter snack with protein and fiber. Examples include greek yogurt, fruits, cheese, veggies, or almonds. These will satiate you without impacting your sleep.
It Decreases Metabolism
Your metabolism is in charge of converting what you eat and drink into energy. Not getting enough sleep greatly impacts your metabolism. It alters the way your body metabolizes fats, and even changes how satisfied you are after a meal.
Lack of sleep has been shown to lead to metabolic dysregulation. This includes increased stress, glucose intolerance, and insulin resistance. Sleeping less also disrupts your body’s natural circadian rhythm, leading to weight gain.
It Makes You Less Active
When the muscles, bones, and cells don’t have time to repair during sleep, they don’t want to be as active. Ensure your sleep space is comfortable and optimized to meet your physical needs. This includes keeping your space dark, cool, and quiet. You may also want to paint your walls a more peaceful color and ensure your space isn’t cluttered.
You’ll also want to create the perfect sleep space by investing in proper sheets, a relaxing scent, and, most importantly, a mattress. Many types of mattresses are available, with different materials and comfort levels. To understand the level of firmness you need, follow the mattress firmness scale and choose the one that best fits your needs of getting a good night’s rest.
By adding these elements to your sleeping space, you’ll make it much easier to relax and fall asleep quickly. Create a space where you feel completely relaxed and at peace.
Ensure a Good Night’s Rest
Sleep and weight management are directly related to each other. It’s critical that you get the rest your body needs. Ensuring a good night’s sleep is crucial to staying healthy and happy. By being mindful of the tips listed in this article, you’ll be in a better position to address both inconsistent sleep and weight changes due to unstable sleep patterns.