Sleep and Weight Loss
Here’s Today’s Tip… Sleep and your overall health
Sleep, or lack thereof, can have a tremendous impact on your weight loss progress. In one recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers from the University of Chicago and the University of Wisconsin set out to see if sleep restriction had an impact on the results of a reduced-calorie diet, and what they found was nothing short of jaw-dropping.
Specifically, folks who slept 5.5 hours per night lost 55% LESS fat and 60% MORE calorie-burning muscle mass than individuals who slept 8.5 hours. Thatâ€™s a dramatic difference, and it can have an enormous impact on the way you look, feel, perform, as well as your propensity to re-gain weight. For instance, losing muscle will tend to make you look â€œskinny fat,â€ and it will also lead to greater reductions in metabolic rate, which in turn means that youâ€™ll be more likely to gain weight once you stop dieting.
In addition to its effects on body composition, sleep restriction is also associated with a laundry list of negative outcomes that can hamper your weight loss and ravage your health:
â€¢ Decreased carbohydrate tolerance
â€¢ Decreased insulin sensitivity
â€¢ Increased evening levels of the stress hormone cortisol
â€¢ Decreased levels of the fat-burning hormone leptin
â€¢ Increased levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin
â€¢ Increased hunger and appetite
â€¢ Reduced muscle recovery and protein synthesis
Ouch! If thatâ€™s not enough to convince you of the importance of quality sleep, then Iâ€™m not sure what is. With that said, most folks will find that 7 â€“ 8 hours of quality sleep each night is optimal. Thatâ€™s just a rough guideline, and youâ€™ll have to experiment to see what works best for you.
As mentioned previously, developing an evening ritual that emphasizes healthy sleep hygiene is key to a great nightâ€™s sleep. Here are a few guidelines that you might find helpful:
â€¢ Avoid caffeine (and other stimulants) after 2pm
â€¢ Limit alcohol consumption
â€¢ Reduce your exposure to electronics (e.g., phones, TVs) within 30 â€“ 60 minutes of bedtime
â€¢ Do a â€œbrain dumpâ€ (i.e., write down any ideas, important thoughts, etc., into a notepad so youâ€™re not thinking or worrying about them)
â€¢ Make your room as dark as possible
â€¢ Incorporate stress reduction techniques (e.g., reading, deep belly breathing, meditation, stretching)
GET YOUR SLEEP,