Get our FREE IIFYM Weight Loss Starter Guide
Sleep and Weight Loss: How Too Little Can Be Catastrophic To Your Goals
Has anyone ever told you that you need to get more sleep? Well, they’re onto something. In order to wake up feeling refreshed as well as allowing your broken-down muscle fibers to rebuild and get stronger, you need a minimum of seven (7) hours of sleep each and every night. And no, you can’t “go to bed early” one night to “make up for lost sleep.” It doesn’t work that way. But, taking things one step further – there is a direct correlation between sleep and weight loss.
Not Achieving Your Weight Loss Goals?
Your diet obviously plays a huge roll in weight loss. For that reason, IIFYM.com has a bunch of IIFYM programs available for you to take advantage of. Additionally, IIFYM.com has calculators to help you better understand your energy requirements, BMR, BMI, and how to split up your macros. But, know that several factors go into how successful you are. When it comes to sleep and weight loss, there’s a lot you need to understand and implement.
Research has found that individuals who aren’t getting proper rest tend to consume more sugar on a daily basis. Also, it shouldn’t come as a surprise, but if you aren’t getting enough sleep at night, you’ll probably be looking for a cup of coffee at some point to boost your energy levels. What do most people put in their coffee? A lot of sugar and creamers and those calories add up quickly if you aren’t tracking them.
Risk of Hormone Imbalances
When it comes to sleep and weight loss, not getting enough shut-eye can throw off your hunger hormones. Hunger hormones? What the heck are those? Your body has two hunger hormones – leptin and ghrelin. These hormones have the ability to initiate the feeling of hunger as well as turning it off.
Leptin is made by fat cells and its main job is to decrease your appetite. On the opposite side of the spectrum is ghrelin. The main job of ghrelin is to increase your appetite. As you can tell, these hormones (leptin and ghrelin) work to balance each other out. When you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body isn’t getting enough leptin to tell you that you are full. This causes the sensation of hunger due to there being an increased amount of ghrelin, even when your body isn’t looking for fuel and food.
When you are sleep deprived, you will feel as if you’re constantly starving and will have you raiding the pantry and refrigerator for food. You can obviously see what this would lead to – overeating and could send your total caloric intake for the day through the roof.
Cortisol Affects Sleep and Weight Loss
Cortisol is a stress-related hormone. When the body becomes stressed, cortisol levels increase which produces energy. For instance, in the morning when we wake up, cortisol levels are elevated and give us the energy to move forward with our day and be productive. However, when the body is stressed and we don’t have a way to decrease the levels of cortisol in the body (like through relaxation or mediation), it doesn’t allow for proper sleep and weight loss.
As our day progresses, cortisol production should be slowing down and reduce our energy levels (which is ideal to allow you to sleep soundly at night). Therefore, it’s imperative that you understand how to properly deal with stressors and stressful situations in your life to allow your mind and body to relax when it’s time to settle down and go to bed.
Your Workouts WILL Suffer
If you are not properly rested, it’s going to be extremely difficult to perform at a high level to help you achieve your health and fitness goals. Not only will your appetite be thrown off, but you won’t have enough energy to get after it in the gym. On top of that, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your muscles aren’t going to be able to recover properly which can stall your progress.
Achieving quality sleep and weight loss results will only happen when you focus on your rest and nutrition. If you feel as if your meals are stagnant and boring, consider trying some of the delicious IIFYM recipes found on the website. Implement these into your diet to keep things fresh and healthy.
How to Achieve Quality Sleep and Weight Loss
There are a few methods you can implement in order to improve the chances of getting a good night’s sleep.
1. Create complete darkness
To help promote sleep and weight loss, you’re going to want your bedroom to be completely dark. This means, zero amount of light penetrating the room from outside. If this is something plaguing your sleep, look to invest in thicker shades or “black-out” shades that properly fit your window to seal off any light from making its way into your bedroom.
2. Block out noise
Depending on where you live (heavy-traffic city or apartment with noisy neighbors), you might need to consider either a comfortable pair of earplugs or a sound machine. Sounds of traffic, people talking, banging, construction, etc. can stimulate your senses and keep you wide awake at night. Earplugs will drown out the noise and a sound machine can help create an ambiance or white-noise that can filter out surrounding noise to help improve your sleep and weight loss progression.
3. Decrease the temperature in your bedroom
By decreasing your body temperature, you have the ability to improve your quality of sleep. This can be done several different ways. You can remove or change articles of clothing, turn on a fan, open a window, or turn down the temperature in the room/house. This helps your body relax and can help not only get to sleep but stay asleep.
4. Turn off your devices
We all live on our smartphones and tablets, but at night you need to pull yourself away to help improve your sleep and weight loss progress. It might be hard to do, but I ensure you, there’s nothing exciting or life-changing going on at 3 am on social media that you need to stay up and be glued to your devices. Turn them off, put them on silent, or store them in a separate room so you aren’t tempted to check them or be woken up by notifications.