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How a good night’s sleep can help you lose weight
Quality sleep, along with proper eating habits and exercise, is an important part of maintaining a healthy body weight. Numerous studies have found that poor sleep is associated with weight gain and a higher likelihood of obesity in both adults and children. This is because sleep plays a vital role in regulating metabolism and appetite. Less sleep bigger the appetite.
Margie Cerato, Personal Trainer and Founder of Vibes Fitness in Fitzroy, comments, “Lack of sleep can dramatically affect our abilities to do virtually everything. We feel too tired to exercise. We’re too tired to cook a healthy meal so we order home delivery. Feeling tired can also cloud our minds and encourage us to make poor choices. Late at night when people are tired and are looking for a quick snack, they tend to choose food hi in carbs, fat and sugar”.
A survey conducted by the University of Adelaide of 28,010 Australian school children aged between nine and 17 found those who didn’t get enough sleep were often skipping breakfast and eating unhealthy snacks. Another study by the University of Chicago, found sleep-deprived participants chose snacks with twice as much fat as those who slept at least 8 hours.
“Sleep is food for the brain. It helps revitalise our thought processes and gives us the energy to engage in our day-to-day activities”, says Margie. “Most people need 7 – 9 hours sleep per night. From my experience and research, I have found that women who sleep less than 5 hours a night typically weigh more than women who sleep 7 – 8 hours per.”
When your brain is exhausted its reward centres gear up a notch. It becomes harder to say no to that extra piece of chocolate or scoop of ice cream. Tired brains crave junk food.
Sleep also plays a vital role in regulating chemicals and hormones in the body that affect body mass. Sleep loss can lower leptin levels, which causes the body to crave carbohydrates. Leptin is a cell-signalling hormone that regulates appetite and food intake. Low levels of leptin in the body due to inadequate sleep can lead to uncontrolled feeding and weight gain.
Margie points out, “Leptin is considered a fullness hormone and is released by the fat cells and tells the brain about the current energy balances of the body. When leptin levels are high, this sends a message to the brain that the body has enough food and the person feels full. Low levels indicate starvation and increase appetite”.
Another important chemical is ghrelin. Ghrelin is often referred to as the ‘hunger hormone’ because it stimulates appetite, increases food intake and promotes fat storage. Lack of sleep can kick this hormone into overdrive. Margie adds, “Inadequate sleep interferes with the body’s ability to metabolise carbohydrates and cause high blood levels of glucose, which leads to higher insulin levels and greater body fat storage. Sleep loss can contribute to increased risk of diabetes, increased blood pressure, and increased risk of heart disease”.
Margie specialises in helping people overcome sleep loss and reducing weight. She has over 25 years experience in the health, wellness and fitness industries. She loves making a difference in people’s lives. For me information please visit https://www.vibesfitness.com.au/ or phone Margie on 0412 526 383.