If you're like me, you probably wish that there was a way for you to lose weight without having to put in much effort, right?
Everyone knows importance of exercise and how it helps us with weight loss, but on some days don't we all wish we can just sleep in bed and lose weight at same time?
Well, I've got some great news for you...
Sleep is a critical part of your weight loss program!
This is a little-known fact, but did you know that sleep can affect your weight? Rather, it's lack of sleep that can make you put on unnecessary weight. You may actually lose more weight if only you were to sleep more every day. What an intriguing thought, isn't it?
In a review of several studies examining impact of sleep on regulation of metabolism, Dr. Eve Van Cauter, Professor and Research Associate at University of Chicago, noted that association between hormones and sleep was identified more than 30 years ago when it was reported that adult men secrete growth hormone during early phase of sleep. Since then, research has indicated a harmful effect of sleep loss on endocrine system and glucose modulation.
One study examined effect of sleep debt and sleep recovery on hormone concentrations and glucose tolerance in healthy males ages 18-27. One week of sleep restriction produced dramatic results: a 30 percent slower response to both glucose tolerance test and acute insulin response compared with results in rested subjects. Sleep deprivation also raised 24-hour cortisol profile.
Another study found that sleep deprivation resulted in 30 percent lower levels of leptin. Amazingly, effect is similar to that observed with caloric restriction (3,000 calories over 3 days), signaling a negative energy balance.
A more recent study examined effect of 10 vs. 4 hours of sleep on appetite. Subjects who slept 4 hours were always hungry and craved starchy, sweet, and salty foods. These results suggest that sleep deprivation produces a signal mimicking negative energy balance, inducing people to eat and thereby predisposing to obesity.
These results indicate an association between sleep debt and obesity. Sleep deprivation would affect glucose tolerance and leptin levels and increase appetite for unhealthy foods. She noted that sleep restriction would have greater impact on obese individuals, who have higher leptin levels to begin with, and on older adults.