Getting a good night's sleep has long been touted as a great way to achieve goals. Now, it turns out that weight loss is one of those goals. Would it surprise you to learn that, in addition to diet and exercise, getting adequate sleep should be part of your weight loss regimen? It’s true. There is abundant scientific evidence that proves that weight and sleep are closely related. In an exciting study conducted by Canadian researchers, it was reported that both the total sleep time plus the quality of sleep can be used to accurately predict the percentage of fat loss in study participants, as well as the ratio of body fat.
In addition to the internal physiological benefits, there are plenty of practical reasons why persons wishing to lose weight should get adequate sleep. When you do, you’ll have more energy to perform your workouts, be better able to focus on making healthy choices throughout the day, and be less likely to succumb to temptations from being too tired to prepare healthy food.
It’s also been proven and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that those who don’t get enough sleep at night are more likely to binge on comfort foods (including simple carbohydrates), than those who are fully rested. Worse, another study indicated that those who tried to get by on less-than-adequate sleep tended to indulge in bigger portion sizes on the day after a restless night. These two studies seem to point to a kind of “hunger hormone” that is released in the body when you don’t get enough sleep. In other words, this phenomenon is uncontrollable, unless you slumber restfully.
The National Sleep Foundation has published guidelines for adults and children as far as how much sleep is adequate. Currently, the official recommendation is between seven and nine hours for adults between the ages of 26 and 64 years old. Of course, since everyone is a little different, the Foundation recognizes that some people may need only six hours, while others might need up to 10 hours. As long as you’re generally within these guidelines, you are likely getting adequate sleep.
There are some easy indicators to tell if you’re getting enough restful sleep. These will help you to target that number of hours of sleep that are ideal for you. Look for these signs of restful sleep:
If you have a weight loss goal, and don't feel you're getting enough sleep, please contact one of our experts in Connecticut for advice and suggestions on how to improve the quality and quantity of your sleep.