Why sleep is so important for losing weight

Why sleep is so important for losing weight
When it comes to weight loss, diet and exercise are usually thought of as the two key factors that will achieve results. However, sleep is an often-neglected lifestyle factor that also plays an important role.

The recommended sleep duration for adults is seven to nine hours a night, but many people often sleep for less than this.
Research has shown that sleeping less than the recommended amount is linked to having greater body fat and increased risk of obesity. Typically, the goal for weight loss is usually to decrease body fat while retaining as much muscle mass as possible. Not obtaining the correct amount of sleep can determine how much fat is lost as well as how much muscle mass you retain.

Metabolism, appetite, and sleep

There are several reasons why shorter sleep may be associated with higher body weight and affect weight loss. These include changes in metabolism, appetite, and food selection.
Sleep influences two important appetite hormones in our body – leptin and ghrelin, which are thought to be responsible for the feeling of hunger. Short sleep was associated with higher levels of ghrelin and lower levels of leptin. This combination could increase a person's appetite, making calorie-restriction more difficult to adhere to, and may make a person more likely to overeat.

This means that, in the long term, sleep deprivation may lead to weight gain due to these changes in appetite.

Sleep duration also influences metabolism, particularly glucose (sugar) metabolism. Given that sleep-deprived people tend to choose foods high in glucose due to increased appetite and reward-seeking behaviour, the impaired ability to process glucose can make things worse.

An excess of glucose could be converted to fatty acids and stored as fat. Collectively, this can accumulate over the long term, leading to weight gain.

It's clear that sleep is important for losing weight. A lack of sleep can increase appetite by changing hormones, makes us more likely to eat unhealthy foods, and influences how body fat is lost.

Sleep should therefore be considered as an essential alongside diet and physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Why Sleep Is So Important For Losing Weight, According to Researchers Source: Science Alert Author: EMMA SWEENEY AND IAN WALSHE