Updated: Mar 5
Sleep is often seen as a luxury, something that we can scrimp on to get more done in a day. But the truth is, getting enough sleep is essential for our health and well-being. And if you’re trying to lose weight, like me, getting a good night’s sleep can be crucial to your success.
When I started giving myself enough rest to my body, I was able to see that my weight loss has been a little easier. There are several reasons why sleep is so important for weight loss. For one, when we’re sleep-deprived, our bodies produce more of the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone can increase our appetite and make us crave unhealthy foods.
Getting enough sleep can also help us to better control our emotions and impulses. When tired, we’re more likely to make poor food choices or overeat. But getting a good night’s sleep can help us to feel more in control of our emotions and less likely to make impulsive decisions about food and several other factors.
So if you’re trying to lose weight, make sure you’re getting enough sleep!
The connection between sleep and weight loss
Many people don’t realize how closely sleep and weight loss are linked. When we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies can become stressed and produce larger amounts of the hormone cortisol. This hormone can increase our appetite and make us crave unhealthy foods. It’s our body’s way of trying to get us more energy. Getting enough sleep can also help us to better control our emotions and impulses. When tired, we’re more likely to make poor food choices or overeat.
I remember the days when I had little sleep because of high-pressure jobs. I would eat vegan food (fairly healthy) but didn't have control over the quantity I consumed and as a result, I gained weight quickly. Just trying to point out the fact that being a vegan alone is not going to help you to have better weight or health. But getting a good night’s sleep can help us to feel more in control of our emotions and less likely to make impulsive decisions about food. Plus, several studies have found that getting enough sleep can actually help us to lose weight. One study found that people who slept just five hours per night were more likely to be overweight than those who slept seven hours per night.
The benefits of a good night's sleep
There are several benefits to getting good quality sleep. For one, it can help us to feel more rested and alert throughout the day. This can help us to make better food choices, as we’re less likely to reach for sugary or high-fat foods when we’re feeling well-rested. Getting a good night’s sleep can also help us to be more productive and focused during the day. And when we’re more productive and focused, we’re more likely to make better decisions about our diets and physical activity levels. Furthermore, getting enough sleep can help to regulate our hunger hormones. When we’re sleep deprived, our bodies release more of the hunger hormone ghrelin. But when we’re well-rested, our bodies release more of the hormone leptin, which can make us feel fuller for longer.
"Sleep is an important modulator of neuroendocrine function and glucose metabolism and sleep loss has been shown to result in metabolic and endocrine alterations, including decreased glucose tolerance, decreased insulin sensitivity, increased evening concentrations of cortisol, increased levels of ghrelin, decreased levels of leptin, and increased hunger and appetite."
How to make sure you get quality sleep
To get good quality sleep, you need to create a routine for yourself where you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Try to avoid caffeine and alcohol consumption. It can also be helpful to establish an evening routine, such as taking a warm bath, reading a book something uplifting, and/or meditating on your thankfulness. This can help to signal to your body that it’s time to wind down and relax.
You may also want to consider avoiding screens close to bedtime. Electronic devices such as phones, computers, and TVs can emit blue light that signals to the brain that it’s time to be alert and awake. And if you’re dealing with stress, consider engaging in stress-relieving activities such as a good exercise routine during your day, having a warm chamomile tea, lavender oil in a diffuser, and crack-open your window, at least 1-2 inches, for circulation of fresh air (yes, even during winter).
To wrap things up
Getting enough sleep can be crucial to your success if you're trying to lose weight. When we’re well-rested, our bodies are better able to make good food choices, regulate our hunger hormones, and control our emotions. So if you want to give yourself the best chance of succeeding with your weight loss goals, make sure you’re getting a good night’s sleep!