Sleep Affects Weight Loss More Than You Think!

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Sleep Affects Weight Loss More Than You Think!

iStock_000014593347MediumIf you’re trying to lose weight, you’re probably already eating a healthy diet, exercising, and drinking plenty of water. But there’s actually another very important part of the equation: sleep. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, you may be preventing yourself from reaching your weight loss goals.

Sleep is actually a major function of the body that helps us in many ways. For one thing, your body uses this time to rebuild muscles that are stressed by exercise. Your body also uses sleep to regulate the production of important hormones, such as cortisol. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone, and getting enough sleep keeps your cortisol production at normal levels.

When you become sleep deprived, cortisol production increases, leading to a stress reaction in the body. Your appetite soars, yet cells are signaled to increase fat storage, and these leads to double jeopardy for those who are trying to lose weight.

Sleep also affects another hormone called leptin, which is responsible for controlling appetite. Sleep deprivation lowers your levels of leptin, so you feel hungrier and end up eating more. At the same time, your body can’t metabolize carbohydrates efficiently, and high blood sugar levels translate into fat storage in cells.

For these reasons, people who experience chronic sleep deprivation have a higher rate of obesity. They also have a higher chance of developing diabetes, hypertension, and memory loss.

Fortunately, you can fight insomnia and sleep deprivation with something that also helps you lose weight: exercise. Exercise fights stress, which is often the source of insomnia, and also allows you to spend more time in the deepest stage of sleep. This is when your body repairs itself from workouts.

Just one word of caution: Since exercise does produce an endorphin rush, don’t work out close to bedtime, or you could once again have trouble falling asleep. Try not to work out three hours or less before bedtime, and you should reap the double benefit of a good calorie burn plus plenty of rest.

Call or visit our Temecula weight loss clinic for more information!