We’ve told you before about the benefits of sleep to help you lose weight and even about the University of Chicago study whose well-rested participants actually lost twice as much fat as their sleep-deprived counterparts.
It’s definitely not news that getting a good sleep every night offers a number of health benefits. Not only can you look better from a ‘beauty sleep’, but you’ll perform better and be in a better mood too.
But, as the University of Chicago study showed, researchers are still learning about the connections between sleep and weight management, and the risk of weight-related issues such as type-2 diabetes.
To help you better understand the connection between sleep and weight loss, we’ve compiled the five points below from a variety of studies and research to highlight just some of the benefits of sleep for helping you to lose weight.
1. Less Snacking
Unhealthy snacking can defeat even the best weight loss programs. The direct connection between sleep and less snacking is simple: if you’re not awake as long, you’ll have less time to snack. But it’s the type of snacking that you’ll miss that’s also important. The chances of unhealthy snacking are higher late at night when you’re more tired and less inclined to stick to your weight loss regimen. So go to bed instead.
2. You’ll Burn More Calories
Here’s another easy-to-understand direct connection. If you wake up well-rested you will have more energy and burn more calories – even if you don’t actually engage in any extra activities. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that the calorie-burn of normal sleepers was 5% higher than those who didn’t get the recommended amount of sleep.
Just in case 5% doesn’t sound like much, a moderately active adult woman burns about 2,000 calories per day. That’ll mean an extra 100 calories burned a day just by getting a good night’s sleep.
3. You’ll Buy Less Food
In a real eye-opener of a study, done by the journal of the Obesity Society, tired men bought an average of 1,300 more calories of food during a grocery store shopping trip versus a rested group. And that was after both groups had the same meal beforehand, so the ‘shopping hungry’ factor wasn’t at play.
4. You’ll be More Focused
Yet another straight-line effect. If you’re rested, you can focus on the tasks at hand, like sticking to your weight management plan, and being more active, better than if you’re tired and easily swayed to give in to temptation.
Beyond that, a variety of studies found changes in brain activity and hormone production that lead to less will power and increased calorie consumption. In separate studies, Harvard researchers found that sleep-deprived study subjects had less activation of the area of the brain that controls behaviour and an increase in the production of the hormone ghrelin, which increases your appetite.
A study by Columbia University also found that participants who didn’t get enough sleep had increased activity in the region of the brain that manages pleasure-seeking behaviour, the same region that is stimulated more by unhealthy food than healthy food. The conclusion being that, if you’re sleepy, you’ll be more likely to not eat as healthily.
5. You’ll Use More Portion Control
Portion control is one of the best ways to manage your calorie intake and keep your diet nutritionally balanced. A study in Sweden that used a computerized portion-size assessment found that well-rested participants added 35 fewer calories to their on-screen ‘plates’ versus sleepier participants.
It’s not always easy to get the right amount of sleep. But it’s important to try. If you need any more information, help or support, talk to the nutrition specialists at your nearest Herbal One Centre.