Looking to lose weight? If so, the real answer may not be turning to the latest diet to hit the markets or spending endless hours toiling away in the gym. The real answer may lie right in the confines of your bedroom.
Sleep is now being proven to help boost the chances of weight loss success and enhance the results of those who are following a properly planned diet and exercise program.
You likely already know by now that how much sleep you get the night before will influence how energetic you are the next day and how much effort you put in during your workout session, but there’s much more to it than just that.
Let’s take a look closer at the sleep-weight loss connection so you can fully understand why getting a good night’s rest is mandatory if you want to see results.
The study in question that discovered this strong connection was put on by the National Centre for Complementary and Alternative medicine and had the volunteers slash their daily calorie intake by 500 calories, the typical amount recommended for a one pound-per-week weight loss rate, eating a diet that consisted of low-fat, low-sugar foods along with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
In addition to this, they were prescribed at least three hours of exercise a week to help supplement the diet plan they were using.
The dieters also recorded how much time they spent sleeping, watching the TV, or on the computer and then the researchers correlated all of this to the results of weight loss that was seen.
So what were the results of the study? Those who got between six and eight hours of sleep each night were far more likely to achieve a 10 pound weight loss over the six month period.
What’s interesting to note however is that more does not necessary mean better. Participants who got more than eight hours of sleep each night were no more likely to achieve success than those who did and were just as likely to struggle with weight loss as those getting fewer than six hours per night.
It seems as though somewhere between the six and eight hour mark is what is absolutely ideal for weight loss purposes, so what most adults who are on a diet should strive for.
Additionally, stress was also highly correlated with weight loss success, with those who were less stressed on a regular basis experiencing much higher rates of success than those who were self-rated as having more stress.
Why These Results?
So why are these results present? How come stress and sleep are so correlated with weight loss success?
One reason could be the impact on cortisol. When you’re low in sleep or highly stressed, the body will release more of this hormone in the body and it’s the one that can encourage fat accumulation in the abdominal region.
In addition to this, it can also increase the use of lean muscle mass as fuel, so if you’re chronically sleep deprived or stress, it may cause a permanent decrease in your metabolic rate.
Furthermore, those who are lacking in sleep tend to experience less overall blood sugar control, so cravings may become an issue more often, thus it’ll be harder to stick with a reduced calorie diet.
As you likely know as well, the more tired you are feeling the harder it is to fight off the temptation to just give in and have that slice of cake you know is in the fridge waiting for you, so that too could be an influencer of your results.
We don’t even need to discuss the issue of stress-eating, as almost every one of us has experienced that at some point or another.
So if you want to make some serious progress with your weight loss goals, it’s time to turn off the late-night TV, shut down your computer, and make a date with your bed. The more time (up to eight hours) you two can spend together, the greater the chances you reach your end weight loss goals.