How Sleep Habits Impacts Your Weight Loss Efforts

Have you have thought how nice it would be if you could simply sleep that weight away? Well, in a manner of speaking your wish just could come true. Recent studies indicate there may be a very real connection between how much sleep you get a night, the quality of sleep, and weight loss or weight gain.

It has long been known that inadequate amounts of sleep can affect various hormones in the body, but recently scientists have drawn a connection between the amount of sleep you get and two hormones that help to regulate appetite. Ghrelin and Leptin. Ghrenlin is a hormone that is produced in your gastrointestinal track it’s function is to stimulate appetite. Leptin on the other hand is found in the fat cells of your body and signals your brain when you are full or sated.

Recent studies show that people get 6 hours of sleep or less a night their body produces more Ghrelin and decreases the production of Leptin. This results in an over stimulation of appetite, making people feel constantly hunger, oftentimes no matter how much food they consume.

What the Studies Show

In one study conducted of 45 healthy men, sleep deprivation lead to increased hunger and these men having 45% increase in the desire for foods extremely high in carbohydrates. It is therefore easy to see how continuous lack of sleep over an extended period of time, would lead to increased consumption of high caloric foods resulting in weight gain.

In another study conducted on over 1000 participants, the study revealed the people who got inadequate amounts of sleep had higher Ghrelin levels and lower Leptin levels. The study also revealed that the less hours of sleep a person got the higher their body fat levels were.

Weight Loss and the Quality of Sleep

Scientists have discovered that it isn’t just the amount of sleep you get, but also the quality of sleep that affects your ability to lose weight. People who suffer from sleep apnea actually have increased levels of Leptin, yet tend to be obese. The reason for this is not yet clear, but scientists believe that Leptin levels increase in order to signal the brain that the body is sated, but somehow the brain may not be receiving the message.

What this means for those people trying to lose weight, is that changing your sleep habits and trying to get at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night may actually help you to eat less, resulting in burning more of that stored fat and resulting in additional weight loss. However, after 7 or 8 hours of sleep if you are waking up feeling tired, you may want to visit your doctor and be tested for sleep apnea, as treatment for this condition has resulted in weight loss for many people.