May 3, 2015

Why Sleep Is Important For Weight Loss

sleep for weight loss

Losing weight and burning fat appears to be the number one resolution every year. Nevertheless, almost 90% of those resolutions meet with either little or no success. Many people even gain weight instead of losing weight. Many folks never know there might be a very simple reason why they’re not losing those pounds: They do not sleep well.

Studies done by ‘The Lancet’ and ‘The Journal of the American Medical Association’ indicate that lack of sleep may affect the entire body’s metabolism and increase hunger, thus making it more difficult to maintain or shed weight.

What Is The Effect From Lack Of Sleep?

  • It increases fat storage. Lack of sleep will interfere with your body’s capability to metabolize carbohydrates, thus resulting in high levels of blood sugar. High blood sugar or elevated rates of blood sugar promotes the overproduction of insulin. This will lead to the storage of body fat and cause insulin resistance, both which will give you a high risk of getting diabetes.
  • It will make you feel hungry even when you are actually full. Sleep deprivation has been proven to affect the secretion of cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that affects your appetite. Therefore, those who continue to suffer from lack of sleep will feel that they’re always hungry even in the event that they’re actually not.

Do you notice that you have difficulty sleeping when you’re overweight? Why would somebody who’s overweight often have difficulty sleeping? There seem to be several reasons why this may be happening to you:

  • Those who are depressed or concerned about their weight may have the inability to fall asleep, or sleep deprivation due to overthinking of their weight problems.
  • A lot of individuals who are overweight have sleep apnea, a disorder in which breathing stops and starts during sleep, thus resulting in numerous awakenings. You may be waking up hundreds of times a night, without you even being aware of it. This will cause you to be very sleepy the next day.
  • Being overweight may result in lower back problems such as pain around your lower back. Lower back pain will make you feel uncomfortable lying on your bed thus making it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.

Losing Weight Will Improve Your Sleep Quality

A study done by Harvard University on over 400 overweight people with sleep problems proved that losing weight is the solution to their sleep problems. They were put on a diet and exercise program for 3 months, to help them lose weight. It resulted in:

  • Before losing weight, 40% of the participants reported that they suffer from poor sleep quality. After losing weight over 3 months, only 2% reported that they have poor sleep quality.
  • Before the program started, 35% of the participants suffered from sleep apnea. After 3 months, only 2% had sleep apnea.
  • Only 13% of the participants still suffer from habitual snoring, down from 84%.

Besides quantity of sleep, you have to also understand that the quality of sleep is also very important. What does quality of sleep means? It is a restorative deep or slow-wave sleep where you sleep without waking up in between your sleep. Bad quality of sleep will result in significantly reduced rates of growth hormone or HGH. HGH is a protein which helps modulate your body’s proportions of fat and muscle during adult years.

Useful Tips For Quality Sleep

If you are trying to lose weight, you should also improve your sleeping habits along with your eating habits. Try the following sleep tips to help you lose weight faster;

  1. Do not consume alcohol and caffeine in the late afternoon and especially in the evening.
  2. Do not hit the sack feeling hungry. Have a balanced dinner at least 2 hours before going to sleep.
  3. If you’re having trouble falling asleep at night, avoid taking mid-day naps.
  4. A quiet and dark bedroom is important to create a comfortable sleep environment. Try making them as dark and quiet as possible.
  5. A warm bath before sleeping is a good way to relax before sleeping.
  6. Do yoga or meditation to calm yourself down.
  7. Exercise. Try to do a low-impact strength training routine 2-3 hours before bedtime. Studies have proven that a low-impact weight training routine for women will help you fall asleep faster and better.

Try the following tips above and see if it helps with your sleep quantity and quality. I personally found that exercising before dinner have helped me with my sleep problems. If you do not know of any exercise that you do at home, this At Home Workouts For Women could be a great place to start.

I’ll love to hear from you if you have any tips for sleep quality or sleep problems. Leave your comment below!


I'm Barbara, a 37 year old mom who lost 50 POUNDS and got my ideal Bikini Body within 6 months! You can also consider me as the crash test dummy of bikini body, sharing what works (and what doesn’t) so you know exactly how to get your ideal 'bikini body' better!

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