The Dream Diet: Improve Your Physique While You Sleep
Losing weight in a safe and medically-approved manner tends to be a long, slow process – sticking to a nutritious diet can be difficult (especially when fast food alternatives are always readily available) and of course, it is not always easy to keep up with an exercise regimen. Furthermore, many people overlook a key aspect of an overall healthy lifestyle: getting consistent nights of uninterrupted sleep. In fact, suffering from a sleeping problem or sleep disorder can even end up sabotaging your weight loss plan.
Less Sleep Means a Bigger Appetite
Individuals who are tired are more likely to end up reaching for sugary drinks,carbohydrate-dense foods, or high calorie caffeinated beverages for a quick pick-me-up. In addition, lack of sleep tends to cause an increase in hunger and an inability to feel sated after a meal, due to changes in the body’s levels of leptin and ghrelin, two hormones that regular appetite.
Leptin & Ghrelin: Two Hormones That Make A Big Difference
The way that these two hormones affect weight loss was recently studied by two separate teams of researchers at University of Chicago and Stanford University in California. In the first study, doctors measured levels of leptin and ghrelin in 12 healthy men, along with registering their hunger and appetite levels. Next, the men were subjected to two days of sleep deprivation followed by two days of extended sleep, and during this time the researchers monitored their hormone levels, appetite, and activity.
In the end, the study determined that when the subjects didn’t get enough sleep, leptin levels went down and ghrelin levels went up – and their appetite increased in proportion to their sleep debt. What’s worse, their cravings for high carbohydrate, calorie-dense foods increased by a whopping 45%. Clearly, being sleep deprived is not conducive to losing weight or even maintaining an optimal weight.
Less Sleep Also Linked To Higher Body Fat
What’s more, the second study found an even greater link between lack of sleep and increased appetite. In this study, which was conducted jointly by a team from Stanford and a team from the University of Wisconsin, approximately 1,000 volunteers reported the amount of sleep they got each night, and doctors measured their levels of ghrelin and leptin along with charting their weight.
Both teams learned that the volunteers who got fewer than eight hours of sleep per night (on average) not only had lower levels of leptin and higher levels of ghrelin, but also had a higher percentage of body fat. What’s more, that level of body fat seemed to correlate with their sleep patterns – specifically, those who slept the fewest hours per night weighed the most.
Better Sleep = Slimmer Physique
Clearly, getting proper sleep is one of the keys to weight loss and even maintaining your ideal weight; furthermore, optimizing that sleep with an audio track like the Speed Sleep Health and Fitness Track can make an even bigger difference in your appearance and overall health.