Do you feel that with every passing year, better perks at work, higher job responsibilities, you are also gaining weight? Did you know this weight gain is because of lack of adequate sleep? Yes you heard us right. We all know that eating clean and exercising are the two deciding factors for weight management. But do you know, good sleep is as important as the above two for anyone to lose weight. Inadequate sleep can make weight loss process tougher or even make one gain weight. Shocked? We share some tips for good sleep here.
How sleep affects your body weight
The hormones story
Insufficient sleep can create havoc to your system especially with regards to your appetite. Inadequate sleep can make you hungry even when you are full just after a meal! This is because hormones controlling your feeling of hunger (ghrelin) and fullness (leptin) have taken a toll. Lack of sleep also increases the fat storing hormone called cortisol along with raising blood sugar levels and increasing your risk for diabetes! You may also end up with the most common lifestyle condition of weight gain, increase in blood sugar and deranged cholesterol levels.
It is not just the duration of sleep but the quality of sleep (deep sleep) which plays an equally important role in controlling body weight. Having a shorter duration of deep sleep can affect human growth hormone (HGH) production, which controls your body fat and muscle ratio! So don’t you agree with us now when we say spend less time on your phone especially an hour before you sleep. The bright light of your phone can disturb your quality of sleep creating the above hormone mess in your body.
No wonder if you are person working at different shifts of the day, your tendency to gain weight is higher and you blame the weekend binge for it!
A few tips for good sleep
- Sleeping at the same time and waking up at the same time every day is one of the easiest ways to get quality sleep. This way you set your body clock-the circadian rhythm to natural sleep-wake up cycle.
- Napping is a good way to rejuvenate. But remember to not exceed more than 15-20 minutes of nap. Sleeping for longer can further affect your sleep quality in the night and therefore the wake-up time as well.
- Take frequent breaks during the day in the sunlight. Exposure to bright sun can help you improve your vitamin D level which is related to improved sleep quality. Vitamin D is also essential to maintain healthy body weight.
- Exercising regularly is a good way to improve sleep quality which can further help with weight loss. If you are a light sleeper, skip the evening exercise and choose early morning workouts instead.
- A few simple superfoods at home can also help you to get a restful sleep. Try out a cup of warm chamomile tea or passion fruit tea or a simple tulsi tea. Age old method of warm turmeric milk also helps. Remember to avoid caffeinated beverages after late evening if you have sleep disturbances.
- Take the guidance of our expert nutritionists to identify the right foods and superfoods as well as other tips for good sleep.
The next time you crave for a lot of “sinful” foods or keep eating more than your usual portion which is eventually adding to your body fat% and weight, get off your gadgets and get restful sleep to lose weight instead. Is this any less than earning any brownie?