3 Reasons why a goodnights sleep is essential for optimal health and how it can help with weight-loss!
Inadequate sleep has been linked to increased risks to varying illnesses. You’ve probably all heard that it is important to aim for 8 hours sleep a night to reduce risk factors for many chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure and weight gain to name a few. Let’s have a more detailed look at how and why sleep effects our health.
- Lack of sleep can lead to increased hunger
While you sleep hormones are constantly being regulated, two in particular that are related to satiety (feeling full) and stimulating hunger are leptin and ghrelin. Lack of sleep has been found to decrease the amount of leptin, which is responsible for supressing appetite, lower levels of leptin lead to increased levels of ghrelin thus stimulating hunger. While getting enough sleep results in decreased hunger and therefore can help you lose weight and food cravings.
- Sleep is a time for rest and restoration for the body
Sleep induces the release of growth hormone, this hormone is responsible for cell regeneration, reproduction and growth. These processes are essential for building and repairing muscles (especially after a hard workout!). If we can build our muscle mass we can also increase our metabolic rate, with a heightened metabolism we burn more energy resulting in easier weight loss! Also by allowing our muscles adequate recovery we can improve performance and reduce soreness.
- 8 Hours sleep can reduce cortisol (stress hormone)
If you are reaching your 8 hours a night then you will help keep cortisol at bay. If you’re not, lack of sleep has been shown to raise cortisol. Raised cortisol levels slow down the metabolism and leads to protein getting broken down to glucose. This is bad for two main reasons. Firstly excess glucose will get stored as fat. Secondly protein getting broken down equals muscles getting broken down and the ability to build muscle is thus reduced also. This is not ideal when trying to build muscle or lose weight!
Remember sleep is essential for our health so make sure you’re getting enough shuteye!