By Melanie Dong
A good night time sleep is seen as a very important health promotion activity because of its effect on replenishing the cells and helping to reset the bodily functions after a day of activities. During sleep, certain proteins and enzymes are also released, which are all essential for growth and development.
A good night sleep also has direct benefits on the functioning of the organs. First, it lowers the incidences of metabolic conditions such as diabetes and also the risk for heart diseases. It further reduces the development of psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety and dementia.
Aside from these health benefits of sleep, research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal revealed that adequate sleep at night can also produce effective weight loss results when coupled with the right diet and exercise; thus, completing the missing link to effective weight loss. Previous studies have showed the results of adequate sleep leading to lowered caloric intake and feeling of fullness; thereby, yielding weight loss results. Moreover, other studies have seen that adequate sleep also leads to increased physical activity and even lowered the risk of obesity and being overweight as inadequate sleep increases the risk for their development.
During sleep, various enzymes are produced, which help in weight loss. Scientists indicate that lack of sleep increases food cravings and also enhances the release of appetite-stimulating hormones leading to overeating when one is awake. With adequate sleep, the process is reversed because of the release of hormones that reduces appetite and enhances the sense of satiety or feeling of fullness. These hormones are in the form of ghrelin and leptin, which are well regulated when one sleeps soundly at night. Also, cortisol and orexin, which are both involved in appetite, are well-regulated with a good night’s sleep. Along with the regularization of hormones during sleep, adequate sleep can also enhance physical activity. A survey conducted has seen that those who sleep at least seven hours in a day spend one day more on exercise in a week than those who don’t. Moreover, those who sleep late at night barely can do their morning exercises and remain sedentary during the day.
All these effects of adequate sleep provide a holistic way to lose weight because it influences both the patterns of eating and physical activity, which are the two most important components of weight loss.
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For weight loss efforts, 7 to 9 hours of sleep are generally recommended by experts. This length of sleep is not associated with the duration itself, but should be taken at night to be more effective. Those who work at night and sleep during the day may not benefit from weight loss regardless if they sleep longer than nine hours because their body’s clock is already altered. Moreover, for the weight loss benefits to take effect, one should already be in their deep sleep at midnight meaning that sleeping time should be around 9 to 10 pm.
So if you want an adjunct weight loss management in the form of sleep, plan your daily activities early in order for you to spend your night sleeping. If you are working on a night shift, you should also look into other avenues of weight loss to reverse the effects of lack of sleep at night that can lead to rapid weight gaining.
The bad news is, experts say that one may not really see weight loss results just by sleeping soundly at night. It should still be coupled with proper diet and exercise to make it more effective. In this line, adequate sleep should be a part of a holistic weight loss plan to maximize the results of all weight loss interventions.
Melanie Dong is a fitness expert and a part-time dance instructor. She assists people who want to lose weight in a healthy way. She spends her weekdays in the gym for her clients and weekends at her own dance studio teaching various dance lessons and pole dancing to women. In her quest for effective weight loss, she looks into the current trends and updates on losing weight.
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Great info. There is a definite connection between weight loss and sleep, but you need to continue your healthy diet. It won't work without a good diet plan. Thanks.
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