19 January, 2024

Sleep: An Often-Overlooked Component for Weight Loss

The average person in the United States has a very fast-paced lifestyle jampacked with work schedules, commute time, kids’ extracurricular activities, volunteer work, family events…you name it! Now throw in trying to maintain a healthy self-routine as well, and the first thing often sacrificed is sleep. But, we know there is data to show the vital role it plays in our overall well-being, but also the connections with weight, mental state, and energy levels which we will explore further below in this week’s blog post.

Data on Sleep and Weight

There have been several research studies to study the association between sleep and weight gain. We have found deleterious effects from both over and under-sleeping with associations in increased cortisol (stress hormone) levels and excess weight gain in both groups.

What Does Sleep Actually Affect?

Sleep can impact appetite regulation is in part driven by changes in hormones. These people tend to have higher ghrelin levels (hunger hormone) and reduced levels of leptin (satiation hormone). This leads to increased hunger and a propensity to crave high-energy foods to combat this feeling of less energy. The other reason for less energy is the effect on energy expenditure in which individuals feel more sluggish which is thought to be caused by a reduction in one’s basal metabolic rate – which also causes increased weight gain over time.

What’s the Perfect Amount of Sleep?

Studies have shown that for the average person, about 7-8 hours of sleep per night is optimal along with maintaining a consistent sleep routine. This routine can improve overall well-being, mental health, energy levels for improved physical activity, and appetite regulation as well.

In conclusion, don’t take your sleep routine lightly as a part of your overall weight loss or maintenance routine. Remember, sleep is as important as your workouts and diet and plays an important role in this journey for overall health. So think twice the next time you make a work commitment or watch one more Netflix episode over your beauty rest.

Get your Zzz’s

Dr Laster

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