Two of the most popular aspects that people will talk about regarding how much or how little weight you can lose are diet and exercise, but while they are both important they are certainly not the only aspect you should consider when attempting to lose weight.
One aspect that you have likely neglected to think about is sleep, but is there a particular reason why it is so important? Read on to see why you should be getting enough sleep for weight loss.
Sleep can affect your hormones
If you fail to get the recommended 7 hours of sleep per night then you could be putting yourself at risk of weight gain, which will increase your risk of developing numerous health conditions including heart disease and diabetes.
The reason why sleep is so important is that it can affect your hormones.
For instance if you are not getting enough sleep then your body will produce more ghrelin, which is a hormone that tells us that we are hungry.
A lack of sleep can also cause a reduction in the production of the hormone leptin, which is the hormone that helps to tell us that we are satisfied.
Obviously this is a dangerous combination that will lead us to snacking and overeating.
Lack of sleep = Lack of energy
It may not come as a surprise to you but a lack of sleep can result in a lack of energy, which will be bad news for those of us who wish to lose a few pounds.
If you are lacking in energy then you are not going to want to go to the gym at all, and even if you manage to drag yourself there you are unlikely to give 100%.
How to get a good nights sleep?
To get a good nights sleep there are a few things you need to do.
For a start you should try and relax before bed; you are unlikely to get a good nights sleep if you are stressed and worrying about something.
To relax before bed perhaps it would be a good idea to turn off the TV and mobile phone and have a nice warm bath with a good book.
It is also advisable to stay clear of coffee or anything that contains caffeine, for obvious reasons.
Finally, it has been advised that for your evening meal you should eat a few healthy carbs (for example sweet potato, brown rice or quinoa) as these have been shown to promote the production of serotonin, which is then turned into melatonin, a hormone that is responsible for good sleep.
Time to cool down
One way to increase your ability to lose weight while sleeping is by turning down the thermostat, therefore making the room colder.
There are a number of reasons why this would be effective more weight loss; for example your internal body temperature will kick in to try and keep you warm, which will help to burn extra calories.
Research has also shown that sleeping in a colder room helps to increase the amount of ‘brown’ fat your body produces. This is known as the good fat and is used by your body to burn extra calories.
Finally, if you are too hot when sleeping then your sleep could be disrupted. However, by reducing the temperature this wont be an issue, so you will experience more REM sleep and will wake up feeling more refreshed ready for the day ahead.