If your goal is to lose weight in the New Year, you are not alone. According to the CDC, over 41 percent of Americans are trying to lose weight at any given time.
And when it comes to losing weight, there are plenty of diet programs out there including the keto diet, intermittent fasting, and the LadyBoss Weight Loss Lifestyle. But if you really want to lose weight, there’s one thing you must do to help ensure your success: Get enough sleep!
“Your sleeping habits have a significant impact on your weight,” says Sleep Expert Lauri Leadley, Founder of Valley Sleep Center in Phoenix.
Some people think that if you sleep less when you are on a diet, you’ll lose more weight because it takes more energy to stay awake longer, thus you burn more calories.
“That simply is not true,” says Leadley. “Getting enough sleep is the kindling that sets your weight loss program on fire!”
A research study sponsored by Jenny Craig concluded that people who consistently got more than 7 hours of quality sleep daily were 55% more successful at weight loss than those who slept less than that or did not have quality sleep.
Sleep is a major factor in your weight loss success because of what sleep does for your body.
First, sleep regulates your cortisol, which is the hormone that controls the body’s blood sugar levels and regulates metabolism. Also known as the stress hormone, our body releases cortisol to give us extra energy when we need it, such as when we don’t get enough sleep.
However, when we are in constant stress, such as when we are sleep deprived, we get too much cortisol in our system. The Academic Journal of Sleep reported a 37% increase in cortisol when we don’t get enough sleep. Too much cortisol causes many health problems such as heart disease, headaches, anxiety and depression, and weight gain!
Secondly, sleep regulates your appetite. Sleep regulates leptin and ghrelin concentrations, which are hormones that promote satiety and hunger. In the Jenny Craig study, participants showed a 24% increase in hunger and a 23% increase in appetite when they didn’t get enough sleep.
On top of that, when we are sleep deprived, we are more likely to grab mood-elevating foods that are high in carbohydrates, fat, salt, or all three! On the flip side, when you are well-rested, you are less likely to reach for the Nachos Grande!
The facts are that when you don’t get enough sleep, you get hungrier, you crave carbohydrates, and your metabolism slows down!.
So, if you want to optimize your weight loss, make sure you get enough sleep!
Written by:Lauri Leadley, Valley Sleep Center
Lauri Leadley is the owner of Valley Sleep Center, where she helps people find solutions to sleep problems such as snoring, sleep apnea, insomnia and more. Lauri is a two-time cancer survivor, most recently undergoing a double mastectomy. Because of this, she is passionate about helping people get the best sleep they can, so they can live a happier, more fulfilled life.