Shedding that extra weight requires a certain amount of effort, like choosing a workout over a social activity or eliminating guilty pleasures from your diet. But, research also suggests that there is one indulgence you might not want to skimp on when it comes to successful weight management.
Good sleep can have a very good effect on your waistline. And it’s not just because it’s impossible to eat while you’re sleeping! There are scientific reasons why getting enough shut-eye may actually support your weight management efforts.
Inadequate sleep affects the metabolism: According to one study, nearly 93% Indians are sleep-deprived, which is a terrible statistic to have because lack of sleep is a major cause of many ailments including obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. Studies in mice, as well as humans, suggest that when our internal clock is disrupted, it may throw off many bodily functions, especially metabolism.
In one such study, Sanjay R. Patel and colleagues analyzed data from the Nurses’ Health Study and found that women who reported sleeping 5 or fewer hours per night were at greater risk for weight gain and in general weighed more compared with women who slept 7–8 hours per night.
Inadequate sleep alters hunger hormones: Several studies have linked weight gain associated with short sleep to changes in appetite-regulating hormones such as leptin and ghrelin which in turn leads to an increase in fat vs. muscle mass. Another study found that habitual sleep duration less than 7.7 hours was associated with increased BMI, even in children, adolescents and adults.
Inadequate sleep affects the muscle growth: If your sleep is affected, your muscles will also! Yes, it has a major impact on your muscles. NON-REM sleep is very important for the muscle recovery as it leads to secretion of growth hormone. And if there is a deficiency in growth hormone, it is associated with loss of muscle mass and reduced exercise capacity.
Sleeping for 7-9 hours per night is crucial, especially if you are looking to change body composition, increase muscle mass and/or if you want to be ready for your personal training session the next day.
Emerging research suggests that both individuals who sleep too little and individuals who sleep too much seem to be more prone to weight gain.
Weight management is indeed impacted by a complex web of factors, to stack the odds in your favor, aim to get 7-8 hours of shut-eye sleep.
And remember, it’s About Quantity and Quality
For optimal weight management support, not only do you need to get enough sleep, but you also need to get good sleep.
- When possible, avoid eating a high-fat or carb-heavy meal just before hitting the sack, as it may disrupt your slumber as your body works to digest all the food you consumed just before climbing into bed.
- Use exercise, yoga, meditation, journaling or some other method of reducing stress
- Have a balanced meal which is rich in vitamins and minerals.
- Do not work 2 hrs before your sleep, relax your brain and let release the relax hormone Melatonin.
Melatonin is a natural hormone made by your body’s pineal gland. This is a pea-sized gland located just above the middle of the brain. During the day the pineal is inactive. When the sun goes down and darkness occurs, the pineal is “turned on” by the SCN and begins to actively produce melatonin, which is released into the blood. Usually, this occurs around 9 pm. As a result, melatonin levels in the blood rise sharply and you begin to feel less alert. Sleep becomes more inviting. Melatonin levels in the blood stay elevated for about 12 hours – all through the night – before the light of a new day when they fall back to low daytime levels by about 9 am. Daytime levels of melatonin are barely detectable. If the pineal gland is not functioning correctly, the body might not begin the resting process, causing a loss of sleep. And hence, it is important to relax especially in the night or else consult your doctor.
GNC Melatonin supplement if taken on a regular basis till your cycle is back to normal, can help you with sound sleep, and thus support you in your weight loss journey. In case of doubt, call our team of a nutritionist.