There’s a reason why getting a good night’s sleep should be high on everybody’s priority list. Yes, it has to do with the fact that both our body and mind need enough rest to be able to function the next day.
But leading scientific evidence suggests that sleep can do a lot more than just that.
You might not appreciate it enough, or, if you’re young, believe that sleep is something you can compromise with. Yet, sleep is actually all you need to stay healthy. In fact, if you want to lose weight properly, sleep is one of the most essential factors you need.
Don’t believe us? Well, on World Sleep Day, allow us to share some of the ways in which sleep actually helps you shed the kilos.
1. Kills cravings
“We are finding that getting a full night of sufficient sleep actually helps you reboot and refresh the circuits of the human brain, allowing it to make optimal food choices,” Matthew Walker, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley, told Time magazine. “These food choices may put you on a path toward weight control, rather than weight gain.” In his own study, Walker reportedly found that people who got sufficient sleep did not crave unhealthy or junk foods.
2. Keeps hunger pangs in check
Many studies have suggested that poor sleep, apart from increasing cravings for junk food, also increaseS your appetite. Healthline.com reveals that poor sleep leads to the imbalance in the growth of two hormones, ghrelin and leptin. This inevitably leads to extended hunger pangs, which are very difficult to satiate. In addition, cortisol (a stress hormone) also increases in the body due to lack of sleep. A rise in cortisol levels can lead to stress eating, and eventually, weight gain. So, sleep enough, and these hormones will function as they should.
3. Motivates you to exercise
Yes, believe it or not, good sleep is directly linked with your ability to exercise to lose weight. Sleep too little, and you are bound to feel lethargic, unfocused and unable to stick to a regular gym routine. Time.com reveals that people who do not get enough sleep often opt for sedentary activities, like lying on a couch and watching television, instead of getting out for some exercise. So, get enough sleep, and your body and brain will be ready to burn some calories through exercise.
4. Burns calories naturally
Apart from burning calories through exercise, our body also loses weight when it is at a complete rest–which essentially only happens when you sleep or meditate. Our bodies have something called the Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), which is basically the number of calories you burn when your body is at a complete rest. This RMR decreases if you are sleep-deprived, thereby leading to weight gain.
So, sleep actually regulates everything from your metabolism to your hormone production. It is essential for a wholistic weight-loss regime, and that’s why a good night’s snooze is as important as following a good diet and getting regular exercise. In fact, making the choice of a healthy lifestyle depends on getting enough sleep. Need any more reason to sleep soundly tonight?