Monday, March 2, 2015

The Sleep-Weight Connection

Ok, so we’ve all heard that we need to “eat less, exercise more” to lose weight.  That’s a given.  But, are you aware that getting enough sleep can also be crucial?  The sleep-weight connection is actually multi-faceted, making sleep quite an important part of the equation.  Part of it may seem obvious;  You’re exhausted...Are you more likely to grab a yogurt and go to the gym or grab a couple of chocolate chip cookies and sit in front of the TV?  The other part that’s not so obvious is the fact that lack of sleep during the weight loss process actually alters our hormones and by hormones, I mean the ones that can heavily impact appetite, hence weight...leptin and ghrelin.  Leptin tells us when to eat and ghrelin tells us when to stop.  Well, guess what?  When you’re sleep deprived, leptin increases and ghrelin decreases, attacking your appetite at “both ends” so to speak.  Oddly enough, according to one study, the hormones were only impacted in those that had been trying to reduce caloric intake...i.e. those that were trying to lose weight.  So, what may seem like “loss of inhibitions” during sleep deprivation may in fact be more related to your hormone levels!  So, what do experts recommend?  Try to get at least 7.5 hours of good quality sleep each night and not only will you feel more energetic, you may also notice that you’ll be more successful in your efforts to lose weight.