According to recent studies, the amounts and quality of sleep we get have effect the weight loss and gain processes. The good night’s sleep not only helps you stay healthy and alert during the day, but also helps weight loss.
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A number of different researches have been conducted over the years on sleep and how it relates to the processes in the human body, but only recently, a connection has been made between sleep and weight loss. Dr. Virend Somers, professor of medicine and cardiovascular disease, and his colleagues from Mayo Clinic discovered that sleep regulated metabolism and energy expenditure. The hormones that regulated metabolism were affected in people who didn’t get enough sleep. Their hunger was also increased which eventually lead to weight gain. Another study by scientists from St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital and Columbia University in New York showed that the different phases of sleep were also very important. The time of sleeping in each phase was related to slow metabolism, increased appetite and consuming more calories, from fats and carbohydrates in particular. So, metabolism and hunger regulating hormones are affected by the lack of good sleep which leads to weight gain.
Consecutively, good sleep regulates metabolism and reduces appetite, which means the weight is also regulated, and according to doctors, can be brought back to normal. Of course, obesity cannot be always defeated only by developing healthy habits such as balanced eating, regular physical activity and regular sleep regime. But good sleeping habits, doctors admit, should be part of patients’ obesity treatment. So, how can we apply this to our everyday weight loss program?
First, don’t stay in front of the screen late at night. Reduce your daily caffeine intake (in coffee, tea, or energy drinks), and avoid it in the evening. Try not taking strong medicines that can disrupt your sleep. Stress is one of the main reasons for not getting enough sleep, so if you have too much problems during the day, try yoga or meditation. Of course, the best option is to get a professional advice, but many of us either can’t afford it, or just don’t have time. Exercise in the nature, and general outdoor sports are perfect for coping with the stress and anxiety, so even a small change like walking for half hour daily will have a positive effect.
Chronic fatigue is becoming more common among modern people because they are working more and up too late in the nights. What is expected from us, becomes more important than what our body needs, a concept known as “the social jet lag” – the social clock differs from the physiological, which leads to more staying up late and more tiredness during the day. This chronic fatigue is one of the causes of the increasing obesity epidemic, so if we want to be normal-weight, healthy and energetic we should simply sleep more.