Losing Weight and Sleeping
Losing weight and sleeping is not a myth. Today, approximately 65% of Americans are overweight and about 70% of the American population gets only between 3 to 5 hours of sleep each night. Based on much research, it is recommended that healthy adults need between 7 and 8 hours of sleep every night. It should be noted that “quality” of sleep also needs to be considered when determining whether or not an individual is getting the proper amount of sleep.
Losing Weight and Sleeping is Possible
For the past several years, there have been a number of studies conducted that have reflected that weight loss will occur in individuals who get between 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night as compared to those who don’t. Even by not alternating diet or exercising, individuals are able to lose weight simply by ensuring that they are getting a good night’s rest. In one study conducted in Brazil, it was found that individuals are more likely to lose weight three times faster while sleeping than while awake.
What does this all mean? Firstly, it is important to understand how the body works. When we are awake, our bodies burn food and oxygen for energy and we are in what is called a “catabolic state.” When we are sleeping, we are in what is known as an “anabolic state,” which is when our bodies begin to repair themselves and detoxify. While we are sleeping, our bodies undergo a series of processes, including metabolizing the foods that we ate earlier. During sleep, certain hormones will slow down, while others such as the hormone collagen will begin working more in attempts to achieve balance. Levels of corticosteroids and adrenaline decrease and maintenance and repair of the muscles and bones also begin. Additionally, the human body’s immune system increases production of certain proteins that will help us fight off disease. In short, what researchers have discovered is that when your body is in balance and has proper collagen and other hormone levels, you actually burn calories and can lose weight simply by getting a good night’s rest!
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All those who begin a weight loss program need to be fully aware that they need to ensure that they are getting at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Not only does quality sleep help with all weight loss programs, sleep deprivation can hinder the success of any diet plan!
How Sleep Loss Affects Weight Loss
Lack of sleep affects us in many ways. The most common symptom of sleep deprivation is a loss of energy. When our energy levels are low, we tend to move less and in turn, we don’t burn as many calories. Hence, if you are not getting enough sleep every night and your energy level is low, you won’t experience weight loss and, in fact, your body’s reaction might be to store calories as fat.
Secondly, if you aren’t getting enough sleep every night or the quality of sleep that you get is bad, then you most likely aren’t ever reaching the deep sleep phase that your body needs in order to rejuvenate. Losing this deep phase of sleep decreases your body’s growth hormone levels, which are known to promote and regulate the amount of fat and muscle in your body.
Thirdly, when you suffer from lack of sleep, you are not able to metabolize the foods that you ate earlier as well as you should, which also in turn, causes your body to store fats and your blood sugar level to rise. As continued lack of sleep occurs on a regular basis and your blood sugar levels continue to increase nightly, you may end up becoming diabetic or even develop cardiovascular disease. Sleep loss has been linked to poor health and it is noted that individuals who get fewer than six hours of sleep each night on a consistent basis have a shorter life expectancy as compared to those who get more sleep.
Lastly, sleep loss affects weight loss because our hormonal balance is thrown off. Your hormones don’t function as they should, which then in turn hinders weight loss. Cortisol and collagen, for instance, are both hormones that need to adjust while we are sleeping. These two hormones regulate and balance themselves while asleep. When we are sleep- deprived, they are unable to achieve this balance, which then leads to our waking up hungry and being hungry throughout the day. In addition, the types of foods that we crave are more sugary types of foods.
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Sleep Affects Weight More Than You Realize
More and more medical evidence is coming to light that suggests that sleep affects weight. The Journal of the American Medical Association and The Lancet both have published studies suggesting that sleep affects weight, i.e., the lack of sleep you get may cause hunger and possibly affect your body’s metabolism. That being said, for those who get little sleep, you most likely will eat more and retain the fat you eat, making it harder to lose or even maintain weight. Furthermore, it has been noted that the quality of sleep you get may also play role with how you feel, including whether or not you wake up hungry.
Lack of Sleep Affects Weight
As you sleep, your body’s cortisol levels decrease, while growth hormones increase. Cortisol is an anti-stress hormone that is secreted through the adrenal gland and which has an affect on the body’s appetite. Cortisol is noted as being excitatory and it has been shown in studies that the more cortisol that is secreted, the more we are hyperaroused. Additionally, studies reflect that the higher your cortisol levels are, the more likely you will suffer with mental and metabolic problems, such as insulin resistance and loss of memory. Hence, the less sleep you get, the more likely you will end up waking up hungry, while at the same time your metabolism has slowed down.
Lack of sleep also affects weight because it interferes with the body’s ability to process fat, protein, and carbohydrates. The less sleep you get, the slower your metabolism works, which then can lead to your producing more blood sugar. When the body produces excess blood sugar, the more it will store fat and become insulin resistant, which can lead to diabetes. In addition, cortisol also plays a role in the formation of collagen. Collagen is a molecule that helps the body burn fat and gain lean muscle mass that makes connective tissue.
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Weight loss and Sleep
According to Dr. David Rapoport, associate professor and the director of the Sleep Medicine Program at the New York University School of Medicine in New York City, weight loss and sleep deprivation are possibly linked. For years, physicians have been aware that many of the body’s hormones are affected by sleep, but only recently has it been noted that the amount of sleep a person gets each night does affect his or her appetite.
Do you wake up hungry, especially after getting only a little sleep and no matter how much you eat that day, you never feel satisfied? Most likely, your hormones are out of whack. Now naturally when you are hungry, you tend to eat, and the more you eat, the more calories you consume. The more calories you consume, the probability of your gaining weight increases, and any weight loss program you are on goes out the window. Hence, weight loss and sleep tend to go hand and hand.
The Right Balance between Weight Loss and Sleep
In order for any weight loss program to be successful, your body has to be in balance, and in order for your body to be in balance, you have to get a good night’s rest each and every night. While you rest, your body tends to rejuvenate itself. If you have received the proper amount of nutrients during the day, then when you sleep, your body’s functions will be able to achieve balance. Hormones and molecules such as cortisol and collagen are important to achieving this balance. Cortisol helps to regulate the metabolism and collagen is used by the body and acts as a replenishing agent.
It has been noted that the best time to lose weight is while you are in a deep sleep, which is when cortisol levels decrease and collagen increases. With the right balance of these two, weight loss can be achieved while sleeping. If you are having trouble sleeping and/or achieving this balance, then you might want to try adding a natural supplement to your diet that will help you sleep better and achieve weight loss.