Does Sleep Increase Metabolism
Metabolism is a chemical process in which the body converts what we eat and drink into energy needed to survive. All of our collective activities, from breathing to exercising and everything in between, is part of metabolism. While activities like exercise can temporarily increase metabolism, sleep cannot. Metabolism actually slows about 15% during sleep, reaching its lowest level in the morning .
In fact, many studies have shown that sleep deprivation commonly leads to metabolic dysregulation. Poor sleep is associated with increased oxidative stress, glucose intolerance , and insulin resistance. Extra time spent awake may increase the opportunities to eat, and sleeping less may disrupt circadian rhythms, leading to weight gain.
Can Lack Of Sleep Cause Weight Gain
When we think of the key factors controlling our weight, most of us probably think of diet and exercise. We all know that we have to try to eat healthily and that itâs important to take regular exercise if we want to keep our weight in check. But it might be interesting to learn that thereâs a third factor which is just as important and often overlooked: sleep.
Getting good quality sleep is equally as important as diet and exercise in regulating our weight.
Poor sleep can negatively impact all facets of our life but our weight is one area that we might not realise is being affected. Yet itâs well established that lack of sleep is a risk factor for weight gain and obesity1.
We all sleep badly from time to time and we can all relate to the feelings of fatigue that are part and parcel of a poor nightâs sleep. Because of this, good intentions can often go out of the window the following morning.
Do you ever wake up after a sleepless night and say to yourself:
- âIâm tired, so I donât feel like exercising. Another day maybeâ¦â
- âI was going to eat healthily today but Iâm so tired. I need coffee and biscuits to give me some energy.â
- âThat list of things I wanted to get done today? It can wait. I need a sofa dayâ¦â
- âI think Iâll treat myself to some nice comfort food to help me get through this tired old day.â
Do any of these sound familiar? Take any of the above statements and it becomes obvious how they could impact your weight over time.
How Can I Get More Sleep
Theres usually more to weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight than getting enough sleepbut it definitely helps, says Scott Keatley, R.D., of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy. A combination of going to bed a bit earlier, adjusting your diet to meet your needs, and getting in exercise is the ideal way to lose weight, he says. But it doesnt have to be a full-court press the entire time. Work on what you can, make the small changes, and keep at them until it becomes habit.
Work on what you can, make the small changes, and keep at them until it becomes habit.
If you feel like you won’t be able to suddenly tack on an extra hour or so to your sleep, Dr. Winter recommends doing it gradually. I tell people to simply add in 15 minutes every night for a week or two, he says. Then start working on the next 15 minutes. Trying to go to bed hours earlier can sometimes backfire.
Dr. Tasali says that many study participants in the sleep extension group were nervous that they wouldnt be able to sleep more and get everything done that they needed to do during the day. But they ended up saying that with better regulating their sleep, they were able to be more productive so they could do more things during the day without feeling tired, she says. People actually came and thanked me.
Overall, Dr. Tasali says that getting a little more sleep could be a game-changer in our obesity epidemic.
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Eat More Fiber To Lose Weight
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body cannot digest. This means that it passes through the digestive system without being broken down or absorbed. Fiber is found in plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance. This type of fiber can help to slow down digestion and make you feel full for longer. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and helps to add bulk to stool, which can aid in bowel regularity.
Both types of fiber are important for maintaining a healthy weight. This is because they help to control hunger and prevent overeating. Fiber is also beneficial for promoting regularity and preventing constipation, which can lead to weight gain.
To increase your fiber intake, aim to eat at least 25 grams of fiber per day. Good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. You can also take a fiber supplement if you struggle to get enough from food alone. Just be sure to drink plenty of water when increasing your fiber intake, as this can help to prevent bloating and discomfort.
Metabolism Appetite And Sleep
Sleep influences two important appetite hormones in our body leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is a hormone that decreases appetite, so when leptin levels are high we usually feel fuller. On the other hand, ghrelin is a hormone that can stimulate appetite, and is often referred to as the hunger hormone because its thought to be responsible for the feeling of hunger.
One study found that sleep restriction increases levels of ghrelin and decreases leptin. Another study, which included a sample of 1,024 adults, also found that short sleep was associated with higher levels of ghrelin and lower levels of leptin. This combination could increase a persons appetite, making calorie-restriction more difficult to adhere to, and may make a person more likely to overeat.
Consequently, increased food intake due to changes in appetite hormones may result in weight gain. This means that, in the long term, sleep deprivation may lead to weight gain due to these changes in appetite. So getting a good nights sleep should be prioritised.
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You Burn Fewer Calories When Youre Sleep Deprived
But itâs not just about food. When youâre sleep deprived, youâll feel low on energy during the day and lack motivation for activity and/or exercise. This lack of activity means your body isnât tired enough come bedtime, making you stay up later, increasing sleep deprivation even more. All that inactivity and sleep loss leads to even more weight gain.
After a night of sleep deprivation, the number of calories we burn goes down and the amount our body wants to eat goes up â a dangerous combination if youâre trying to lose or even just maintain a healthy weight.
One study found resting metabolic rate â the rate your body burns energy while resting and a key part of how many calories you burn each day â was significantly lower in the mornings after getting four hours of sleep for five nights. This did recover after a 12 hour recovery sleep on the sixth night, although other similar studies have shown recovery takes nine nights of 10-hour sleeps after three weeks of sleep deprivation.
Whatâs more, the amount of calories you burn goes down when youâre sleep deprived simply because youâre less likely to do a lot of physical activity if youâre feeling tired.
May Help You Make Better Food Choices
Getting a full nights sleep may help you make healthier food choices.
Lack of sleep alters the way your brain works and can affect decision making. This may make it harder to make healthy food choices and resist tempting foods .
In addition, it appears that the reward centers of the brain are more stimulated by food when you are sleep deprived .
For example, one study found that sleep deprived participants had greater reward-related brain responses after viewing images of high calorie foods. Interestingly, they were also more likely to pay more for food than those who had adequate sleep .
Therefore, after a night of poor sleep, not only is that bowl of ice cream more rewarding, but youll likely have a harder time practicing self-control.
Another study showed that sleep deprivation led to increased smell sensitivity to high calorie foods and greater consumption .
Furthermore, lack of sleep may lead to poorer food choices, such as a higher intake of foods high in calories, sugar, and fat, to compensate for feeling a lack of energy .
Poor sleep can decrease your self-control and decision making abilities, as well as increase your brains reaction to food. Poor sleep has also been linked to an increased intake of foods high in calories, fats, and sugar.
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Create And Stick To A Consistent Sleep Routine
Research has shown that the more consistent your sleep schedule is, the more improvement you will see in your BMI especially if your BMI exceeds 30, the threshold for obesity.
There is a reason you create and live by a set routine for your kids theyre always more pleasant and easier to handle if they go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. However, we often fail to tap into that same wisdom as we become adults.
Understandably there are many reasons we fail to create a consistent sleep routine in adulthood between work, kids, and life in general, it can be tough to follow the same routine each day. But if youre trying to lose weight, this is one of the easiest behavior modifications you can make.
A consistent sleep routine means going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning including weekends.
Sleeping in or staying out late does more harm than you realize, and not just for your weight. A regular sleep routine will help strengthen your circadian rhythm, improve your overall sleep, and help you prevent asleep debt that can make getting the good sleep you need more difficult.
How Much Water Weight Do You Lose At Night
Water weight will make up a large part of your over night weight loss mostly due to the rhythmic breathing and the associated water vapor and carbon dioxide each exhale.
This volume while small on each breath adds up to be anywhere from 1-3 pounds over a night. This weight rapidly comes back though when you begin eating and drinking again.
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Build A Bedtime Routine
A routine helps you mentally prepare for bed just as much as a time, routines involve washing your face, brushing your teeth and completing all the necessary tasks for bed.
In addition this means if you have a bed time at 10pm that you would work to ensure you are in bed at this time every day, this helps build the routine that will help you get better sleep.
Sleep And Obesity Risks
Insufficient sleep has also been known to increase the risk of obesity, which comes with its own set of health risks. A study on sleep and obesity found that sleep loss has been shown to result in metabolic and endocrine alterationsand confirms previous findings of an association between sleep loss and increased risk of obesity. The study found that the best preventative treatment for reducing obesity risk included sufficient amounts of habitual sleep and good sleep hygiene.
The challenge of maintaining a healthy weight is a daily endeavor, made up of many small choices that over time have a powerful cumulative effect. A strong routine of sufficient nightly sleep, good sleep hygiene habits, and healthy choices during the day can aid in this endeavor. So, remember, to lose more, you want to sleep more!
People Who Eat and Sleep Late May Gain Weight. National Sleep Foundation. sleepfoundation.org/sleep-news/people-who-eat-and-sleep-late-may-gain-weight.
Lose Sleep, Gain Weight: Another Piece of the Obesity Puzzle. US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2831987/.
1 In 3 Adults Dont Get Enough Sleep. CDC. www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0215-enough-sleep.html.
Partial Sleep Deprivation and Energy Balance in Adults: An Emerging Issue for Consideration by Dietetics Practitioners. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
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How The Reward System Works
We have a bag of sweets and eat one. The reward and pleasure centres of our brain tell us that this is good. So we have another because we now know that when we eat this thing, the result is a pleasant sensation .
In a person who has had adequate sleep, at some point another part of the brain will intervene and remind the person that too many sweets are bad for their teeth and waistline. The behaviour is checked and the sweets put away for another time.
In someone who is sleep-deprived, two factors are at play. Signals at the reward centres are amplified. So, when the person eats the sweet, the sensation is more intense and the drive to eat more is increased.
Secondary to this, the prefrontal cortex is dampened. So the signal to stop is weaker. In effect, our willpower is weaker.
In this example, the sleep-deprived person keeps on eating. The end result is a net calorie intake that is much higher for the sleep-deprived person compared to the person who got enough sleep.
If You Sweat At Night Do You Lose Weight
As with breathing you will lose some water weight through sweat itself which means that it can help you lose weight. As with any water vapor lost from sleep the weight will come right back with liquid consumption as your body replaces the lost hydration.
The amount and weight is probably very small with sweat unless you are running exceedingly warm, I would expect this to be a minimal part of your weight loss during the night.
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How Does A Lack Of Sleep Impact Weight Loss
This combination of leptin and ghrelin signaling has a high prevalence to lead someone to overeating and the inevitable weight gain. When people are sleep deprived they tend to consume almost 300 calories more per day than when well-rested.
Consuming 300 more calories a day means adding a pound or there about every 10-12 days and may be a cause of the insidious weight gain that people get confused about where they dont get how it occurs.
As you can tell sleep is a vital function to our well-being and part of why I wanted to speak on the three core pillars of eating, fitness, and sleep. Missing any one of these three will yield unfavorable results and cost you in the long term!
It Makes You More Likely To Stick To Your Diet
In 2012, Charles Elder, a researcher at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, recruited 472 obese adults into a weight-loss program that included weekly group meetings and counseling on diet and exercise. Elder and his colleagues measured a variety of factors, including levels of sleep, stress and depression. At the beginning of the study, the people who told us they were sleeping six to eight hours a night ended up doing better in the weight-loss program than those who were sleeping less than six or more than eight hours, says Elder. Stress mattered too. People who had low stress and were sleeping more than six but no more than eight hours a night were about twice as likely to have success in the program as people who had higher baseline stress and who were sleeping too much or too little.
Elders study is not the only one to make the connection. A 2014 study of women ages 25 through 65 who were classified as overweight or obese and participated in a seven-month weight-loss intervention showed that women who had fragmented sleep and woke up five or more times a night lost less weight than the women who had higher-quality sleep.
The data makes us think that we should be paying attention to sleep patterns when we are offering sleep-management programs, says Elder.
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Build A Consistent Sleep Schedule
In our fast paced insane world most of us change our sleep habits almost daily, going to bed at a range of hours from 9pm-1am or even later all in the name of getting more time.
The problems with maintaining a non-stop changing sleep schedule is your body is a machine which likes to have a schedule. Constant shifts to these times can actually cause your body some serious havoc in helping you get good sleep.
Learning and setting a time can help you become more organized and structure will help get you to sleep with more regularity. This would mean setting a bedtime of, for example, 10pm and wake at 5am.
This helps you set a mental picture of what your day is and when you plan the day to end which will help you ensure you complete things on time with less wasted time within the day.