It’s important to understand that sleep is an important ingredient. Periodically I like to talk about sleep here in the Fitness blog because too often as adults, overwhelmingly busy – we forget how important sleep is. But the truth is, sleep is as vital to your health as exercise and eating right.
Studies Suggest Sleep Helps You to Lose Weight
According to Michael Breus a Ph.D. and clinical psychologist, sleep or the lack thereof can be holding you back from losing the weight you want to lose. In his book, Good Night: The Sleep Doctor’s 4-Week Program to Better Sleep and Better Health he offers tips and insights into achieving a more restful sleep and he explores for you the way that sleep and weight loss are tied together in your body.
Breus is not the only one to support this conclusion. In the The Journal of the American Medical Association studies suggested that when you don’t get enough sleep, it can affect your body’s metabolism. As I used to tell my friends, when you get too much sleep, you don’t want food and when you get too little sleep, you need more food.
Your body needs energy and it receives energy from two different sources. One source is your nutrition and the other is your sleep. Your body needs a balance of both because that’s how it’s designed. Put one out of whack and you’ll rapidly find the other growing in proportion.
In fact, the more sleep deprived you are – the more likely you are to become obese. According to a study at Columbia University, people who got four or less hours of sleep a night were 73% more likely to be obese than others their same age who received six or more hours of sleep a night.
Sleep Deprivation is Bad
Sleep deprivation can make you feel hungry even if you’re not. It can cause irregularities in the hormones your body secretes and essentially – trigger a chain reaction that can put a damper on your workout programs. Knowing all of this is important because when you exercise regularly, you tend to sleep better and have a better quality of sleep and eat less – it’s a combination of factors.
There is no one magic solution to all your problems, but sleep is a crucial element to any good fitness or weight loss program. So the next time you’re wondering why your diet or exercise program isn’t working, don’t just look at one corner of the picture – look at the whole thing.
- How am I sleeping?
- How much sleep am I getting?
- How do I feel when I wake up? (Am I energetic or sluggish?)
- Do I exercise regularly?
- Am I eating even when I’m not hungry?
Answering questions like this truthfully can give you some great clues on how to get yourself back on target for where you want to be. So, how did you sleep last night?