What if, instead of obsessing over calories and punishing yourself at the gym, all you needed to do in order to shed extra pounds is sleep your way to a slimmer body? You’d be headed to the sheets right now, yes?! Medical research reveals that one of the most effective yet under-utilized ways to lose weight is to sleep yourself slim.
We all know how important sleep is, yet many of us fail to snag 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. Adequate sleep is not only an essential part of a balanced, healthy lifestyle, but catching enough Z’s also shrinks your waist line and boosts your weight loss efforts.
- You store fat when you’re chronically tired. When your body is chronically fatigued, you produce extra insulin and cortisol, which the body then converts into and stores as fat.
- Leptin and Ghrelin are 2 hormones in the body that control appetite. Leptin is responsible for feelings of satiety; ghrelin signals hunger. When you’re well rested, levels of leptin increase, helping you stay slim AND encourage healthy food choices. Sleep deprivation increases ghrelin, which triggers cravings and unhealthy eating.
- Sleep deprivation sabotages gym time. When you’re exhausted, commitment to physical activity wans, and if you do manage to make it to the gym, your body is too tired to function effectively.
- Sleepless nights reduce (and undo) the benefits of exercise. Your body needs rest and recovery if it’s going to function at its best. Without proper sleep, all the hard work you’re doing at the gym is negated.
- Sleep deprivation equals a slower metabolism. Help your digestive system function at its best by fueling your body with clean, fresh, whole foods and sleeping a solid 7-8 hours per night.
In addition to losing weight, logging enough hours of shut-eye provides the body with a bevy of health benefits, while failing to rest your body creates a host of problems.
Body Benefits of Sleep:
- Improved Memory
- Reduce Inflammation
- Maintain Healthy Weight
- Boost Mental State
- Lower Stress
- Improve Athletic Performance
Dangers of Sleep Deprivation:
- Increased risk of stroke and breast cancer
- Unhealthy cravings
- Weight Gain
- Higher levels of depression and anxiety
- Difficulty losing weight
- Increased risk of heart disease and diabetes
So go on, hit the pillow a little earlier tonight and wake up to a healthier, slimmer you!