Lose weight in bed. Seriously! We're not joking. Sleep is an important regulator of energy metabolism. Many children and adults are not getting enough sleep. Research is now looking at the impact of poor sleep and its effects on the body.
When we get enough sleep, our appetite regulating hormones work well. Specifically, GHRELIN, a hormone that stimulates appetite whose job is to promote the feeling of hunger, and LEPTIN, a hormone that suppresses appetite and whose job is to let the body know when it’s full, work together by telling us when to start eating and when to stop eating.
What happens when we are short on sleep? With reduced sleep, research has shown a disruption in the amount of ghrelin and leptin secreted. Ghrelin (the appetite stimulant) increases, and in turn you feel like eating. At the same time, leptin, the appetite suppressing hormone, decreases. This means that rather than telling your brain it’s now full, with lowered levels of leptin, we just keep eating. This imbalance of hormones make it difficult to cut down on portions which in turn can affect your ability to lose weight. This disruption in hunger cues is often coupled with the lack of desire to exercise due to fatigue, which makes weight loss efforts even more challenging.
In one study, after only 2 nights with 4 hours of sleep, the test subjects had 28% higher ghrelin hormone levels and 18% lower leptin levels compared to those who slept 10 hours per night. Let’s not forget they are also awake longer so have more opportunities to eat!
According to a study in 2012 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, if you want your metabolism to work, get to sleep. How much sleep does one need? Sleep needs vary but generally speaking it is recommended that adults get about 7 – 9 hours each day and school aged children get about 10 – 11 hours of sleep. Visit the sleep section of our website for the recommended hours of sleep based on your exact age group.
We live in a 24/7 society. Our high paced lifestyle means we strive to do as much as we can in one day even though it means compromising our hours of sleep. Like eating and physical activity, sleep is an essential part of our health and fundamental to our well being. So if you want to lose weight - GET TO BED! Watch our video for tips on how to get to sleep!