Sleep and Weight Loss: Why Does Sleep Help in Losing Weight?

Lack of sleep may not seem like a big deal, but it’s a real problem if you’re trying to lose weight.  You may be surprised the relationship between sleep and weight loss. Not only does it make you crabby and sap your energy, it can also take your mind and body off track from your weight loss goals.

Lack of Sleep Disrupts Healthy Eating Patterns

Studies show that people who get less sleep start to eat smaller breakfasts and more late night meals. Because their sleep cycle is messed up, their bodies think it’s time to sleep when they should be eating and vice versa.

When you stay up later, you’re more likely to snack more and choose unhealthy foods. When you don’t get enough sleep, you don’t have all the energy you need and that makes sugary and fatty foods look much more appealing. You’re responding to what your body needs, more energy, but this can set you back if you’re trying to lose weight.

Lack of Sleep Disturbs a Healthy Weight Loss Metabolism

And there’s more going on below the surface. There are two hormones that are affected when you don’t get enough sleep:  ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin tells you when it’s time to eat and leptin tells you when it’s time to stop. When you don’t get a good night’s sleep, your body makes more ghrelin and less leptin and slows down your metabolism. In short, your body is telling you to eat more and is taking longer to tell you to stop.

How to Help Yourself Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Here are 3 easy tips to help you get better sleep.

1.     Give yourself a bedtime. If you go to sleep and wake up about the same time every day, your body will get used to it and maintain a healthy sleep cycle.

2.     Watch what you eat at dinner. Don’t go to bed stuffed, the discomfort can keep you awake. Nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol can also interrupt your sleep, so avoid anything that contains those things just before bedtime.

3.     Get relaxed. Take a warm bath, read a book or magazine, or listen to soft music. Do something that will help you wind down. Avoid watching TV, going on the computer, or any other electronics. Studies have suggested that these kinds of things interfere with rest.

Lack of sleep is a common problem.  But it doesn’t have to derail your hard work to lose weight if you know why sleep is important, and you start each day well rested and refreshed.

Get Personalized Weight Loss Treatment at the Optimal Wellness Center

Dr. Keller’s weight loss program includes personal consultation to plan meals with foods you like, and feel and look better with appropriate activity and rest. Find out more about the support available to you in Dr. Keller’s weight Loss Program.

You can call us at 201-485-7930 to get started.

About Dr. Betty Keller:

Dr. Betty Keller practices integrative medicine at the Optimal Wellness Center in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.  She is a board certified doctor specializing in weight loss, chronic pain treatment, medical acupuncture and disease prevention, serving Franklin Lakes, Wyckoff, NJ, and nearby areas.