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.
Evidence Points To A Link Between Poor Sleep And Obesity
If we make poor food choices when were tired, does it follow that repeatedly not getting enough sleep could lead to issues with weight gain and obesity?
There are enough big signals about what pre-empts weight gain and Type 2 diabetes that we can say if youre not getting enough sleep on a regular basis, it strongly looks likely it will cause a problem, says Professor Scott.
Research that backs this up has been produced by Dr Erin Hanlon, Research Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago, and her colleagues. In 2016, they wanted to see if sleep deprivation impacts chemical signals which, in turn, make people crave high-carbohydrate and high-fat foods.
With existing research often focussing on how poor sleep impacts levels of the hormones ghrelin and leptin , the scientists wanted to measure another chemical signal: endocannabinoid which is associated with making us crave highly-palatable foods.
Their study found that when sleep deprived, the participants eCB levels were increased and amplified. The result? The participants started reaching for unhealthy snacks because they didnt feel full.
Looking back at the study and other research carried out, Dr Hanlon says I personally feel confident there is a link between sleep deficiency and increased feeding, and moreover that sleep deficiency is one of the contributing factors in the rise in obesity.
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.
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Dehydration saps your mood and energy, making your feel tired and more prone to reach for comfort foods for a pick-me-up, says Ansel. Whatâs more, downing a couple of glasses before a meal has been shown to help people eat less. Aim to drink at least 72 ounces of water every day, and another eight ounces for every 30 minutes you workout, she says.
Weight Loss: Can You Shed Extra Kilos During Sleep
According to a study, lack of sleep can lead to a decrease in metabolic rate and energy expenditure by 20%. If you sleep for less than eight hours, your stress levels and hormone cortisol may increase. These can have a negative impact on the microbes present in the gut. Lack of sleep can lead to disturbance in the hunger hormones that might lead to eating a lot of junk food. Also Read â4 Simple Tricks to Keep Weight Under Check During The Festive Season
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Can You Lose Weight By Sleeping For Longer
Youre exhausted. So tired you dont know how youre going to get through the rest of the day. You need that energy hit and reach for the foods you know will give it to you carbs, chocolate and a sugary caffeinated drink.
Whether its external factors or lifes stresses that keep you tossing and turning all night, when youve not caught many zzzs, its easy to reach for foods you ordinarily avoid.
What happens if this is a frequent occurrence? Will you inevitably always opt for the wrong food and be more likely to gain weight? If you try to lose extra pounds, will you find it harder because your tiredness saps your motivation? And does a good nights sleep mean youll more often than not opt for food packed with nutrients that could aid weight loss? Most importantly, if youre struggling with sleep and sticking to a diet, what can you do to improve both?
We looked into the science and received some advice for sufferers too
Maintaining A Healthy Relationship With Your Body
Deciding if you should attempt to change your body weight is a personal decision best made with the guidance of your doctor. Dont take all the health and weight loss information you read online at face value. Weight loss isnt appropriate for everyone and doesnt always mean better health. Remember that health is a lifelong journey that includes not only healthy habits but also having a healthy relationship with your body. If youre considering weight loss, the National Institutes of Health offers a helpful resource for choosing a safe weight loss program.
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Losing Weight And Belly Fat Improves Sleep
Do you have trouble sleeping? If youre carrying extra pounds, especially around your belly, losing weight and some of that muffin top may help you get better ZZZs. So say researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who presented their findings at this years annual meeting of the American Heart Association.
The Hopkins researchers recruited 77 overweight volunteers with either prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Many reported sleep problems such as sleep apnea, daytime fatigue, insomnia, and restless or interrupted sleep. Half of the volunteers went on a weight-loss diet with supervised exercise training. The other half did just the diet. After six months, participants in both groups had lost an average of 15 pounds and reduced their belly fat by 15%. Sleep quality improved in both groups. A reduction in belly fat was the best predictor of improved sleep.
The results of this trial are in line with other studies exploring how weight affects sleep and sleep affects weight.
Sleep Deprivation And Fighting Off Cravings
If you find that saying no to less nutritious food is more difficult when youre short on sleep, youre not alone.
Results from a small 2016 randomized controlled trial found that a lack of sleep can increase your desire to eat more high calorie foods and decrease your ability to resist them.
More specifically, researchers found that less sleep altered levels of endocannabinoid, which are chemical signals that affect your appetite and your brains reward system.
This was most notable on the days participants were sleep-deprived, when endocannabinoid levels were both higher and lasted longer, particularly in the afternoon.
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Drinking Green Tea During The Day
Green tea is not a sleep-friendly beverage because it contains high levels of caffeine and other wake-inducing compounds. However, green tea can be of great assistance when it comes to calorie and fat burning.
Its weight loss properties are effective even hours after consumption. That is why we recommend daily green tea intake, which will promote faster belly fat loss during the night.
More to know: Green Tea Before Bedtime: Good or Bad Idea?
/7drink A Casein Protein Shake
The slow-release protein is gradually digested over eight hours and keeps your metabolic fires burning through the night.
Casein is a slow-digesting dairy protein that is consumed as a supplement. It releases amino acids slowly and people take it before bed to help with recovery and reduce muscle breakdown while sleeping.
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Health Effects Of Sleep Apnea And Excess Weight
Deprived of sufficient, quality rest, sleep apnea sufferers experience significant stress on their cardiovascular, metabolic, and pulmonary systems. This may be particularly worrisome for obese people, because obesity can also elevate the risk of heart, lung, and metabolic problems, potentially compounding their health concerns.
May Help Moderate Your Appetite
Getting enough sleep may help prevent increases in calorie intake and appetite that can happen when youre sleep deprived.
Many studies have found that people who are sleep deprived report having an increased appetite and a higher daily calorie intake .
In fact, one review of studies found that those who experienced sleep deprivation consumed an additional 385 calories per day, with a greater than usual proportion of calories coming from fat .
Another study showed that sleep deprivation led to significant increases in hunger, food cravings, portion sizes, and chocolate and fat intakes .
The increase in food intake is likely caused partly by the effect of sleep on the hunger hormones ghrelin and leptin.
When you do not get adequate sleep, the body makes more ghrelin and less leptin, leaving you hungry and increasing your appetite .
Poor sleep may increase appetite, likely due to its effect on hormones that signal hunger and fullness.
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Tips For Quality Sleep During Weight Loss
There are many ways to improve sleep. Here are a few research-based tips for sleeping better when youre trying to lose weight:
- Keep a regular sleep schedule: Big swings in your sleep schedule or trying to catch up on sleep after a week of late nights can cause changes in metabolism and reduce insulin sensitivity, making it easier for blood sugar to be elevated.
- Sleep in a dark room: Exposure to artificial light while sleeping, such as a TV or bedside lamp, is associated with an increased risk of weight gain and obesity.
- Dont eat right before bed: Eating late may reduce the success of weight loss attempts
- Reduce Stress: Chronic stress may lead to poor sleep and weight gain in several ways, including eating to cope with negative emotions
- Be an Early Bird: People with late bedtimes may consume more calories and be at a higher risk for weight gain. Early birds may be more likely to maintain weight loss when compared to night owls.
Finding Your Sleep Sweet Spot
Your clients can use sleep to help them lose weight by rising within 30 minutes of the same time every day and getting into bed with the lights out at the same time each night. Urge them to experiment with eight hours of sleep per night, plus or minus 15 minutes, until they find how much sleep they truly need.
Remind your clients to be honest about how much sleep is ideal for them. Many people believe they can get by with little sleep, when they really cannot. When people get an adequate amount of quality sleep per night, they are more likely to have the energy to exercise and the motivation to make choices that align with their goals.
If your clients are having trouble going to sleep or staying asleep, encourage them to try the following tactics:
- Prioritize relaxing, stress-free evening activities that help wind you down to rest.
- Avoid stimulating evening activities until you get into a sleep rhythm.
- Avoid electronics and blue spectrum light exposure one hour before bed.
- Reduce or, ideally, eliminate alcohol and caffeine.
- Aim to finish dinner two to three hours before you get into bed.
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Food Intake And Energy Expenditure
During each 14-day intervention period, participants consumed the same individualized diet with caloric content restricted to 90% of their resting metabolic rate at the time of screening. Daily calories were divided among breakfast , lunch , dinner and an evening snack . This weight-reducing diet was supplemented with a daily multivitamin-plus-minerals and 325 mg of ferrous sulphate. Food was weighed before and after each meal to determine actual consumption .
How Sleep Can Help You Lose Weight
Adequate sleep at night helps your body recover from the previous day, prepare for the next, and keep everything working as it should. Many of these nightly processes such as hormone regulation and regulation of your metabolism can be directly connected to your body weight.
A few ways that good sleep can help you lose weight include:
- Keeping your appetite under control and making better dietary choices
- Boosting your metabolism and keeping it functioning well
- Helping you stay physically active, and boosting your energy
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Longer Studies Are Needed Researchers Say
Tasali says the findings are important for a few reasons: The research was done in a real-world setting, and not in a sleep lab, with participants maintaining their normal eating habits and sleeping in their own beds. The results were also objective, and free from self-reporting wrist sensors recorded sleep duration, and the urine-based tests measured caloric intake.
The study has its caveats, though. For starters, the duration was only two weeks. It also excluded people with sleep disorders, like sleep apnea, and those who work night shifts or rotating shift work. Its unclear if people who are already getting enough sleep would see the same benefit.
We dont know to what extent the habits would have been continued beyond two weeks. Longer-term studies are needed, and with more diverse populations, but its our general hypothesis that this intervention would apply to populations with various baseline weights and sleep duration, she says.
Throw Out The Night Light
Exposure to light at night doesn’t just interrupt your chances of a great night’s sleep, it may also result in weight gain according to a new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Study subjects who slept in the darkest rooms were 21 percent less likely to be obese than those sleeping in the lightest rooms.
That leads us to our next sleep-slimming trick.
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Ways To Up Your Sleep Hygiene Game
Be an early bird. If youre up and at em bright and early, not only will you get the worm, youll also find that youre more likely to be tired by bedtime.
Exercise regularly. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise or movement on most days. This could be gardening, dancing while you cook, doing a few planks or pushups during commercials or talking a nice walk. Just dont exercise strenuously in the 2-3 hour window before bed.
Develop a bedtime routine. What relaxes you? A warm bath or a good book might be good places to start. Turn off the television and avoid other forms of screen time in the hour or so before bed.
Avoid nicotine in any form. Nicotine is a stimulant and makes it harder to fall asleep.
Say no to caffeine after 2pm. Its also a stimulant and sleep saboteur.
Nix late afternoon naps. Naps should be taken before 3pm and should not exceed about 20 minutes.
Go for comfortand warm tootsies. Choose sleepwear that is warm enough, cool enough and nonrestrictive. Consider sleeping in socks. Warming up your feet makes the blood vessels dilate , a process called vasodilation, which releases heat through the skin and helps lower your core body temp, which signals your brain that its time to sleep.
Dont eat right before bed. A small snack is fine but a big meal before bed is a known disruptor.
Get your room sleep ready. Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet and at a comfortable temperature. For most, thats in the 65 to 67°F range.
How Sleep Can Affect Weight And Weight Loss
Sleep can be used safely and responsibly to help facilitate good health and healthy weight maintenance. That includes losing weight if needed. The trick to using sleep to help manage weight isnt really a trick at all: Its about getting enough sleep and making sure your sleep is high quality and restful.
Lets look at some of the scientific evidence. There are several ways that sleeping poorly, and not sleeping enough, can make staying at a healthy weight more difficult:
Sleeping poorly, or not enough, slows the bodys metabolism. Metabolism is the process by which the body converts calories to energy. Research suggests that poor sleep makes the bodys metabolism work less effectively, leaving more unexpended energy to be stored in the body as fat.
Poor and insufficient sleep make the body inclined to store calories as fat. Research indicates that poor sleep can trigger the body to make more insulin and cortisol. Higher insulin and cortisol levels appear to prompt the body to store energy as fat, especially in the abdomen.
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