Beach season is already in full swing, so many of us are thinking about quick ways to lose weight. There is no shortage of diet and exercise plans being promoted. Most just don’t work. While many of these fads are simply harmless but misguided, some can actually be dangerous. So what to do? How about this – get more sleep. That’s right – getting better sleep can help you lose weight. Really!
How can that be? Well, consider these facts:
If you don’t get enough sleep, you tend to be tired. Tired people are less likely to exercise than well rested individuals.
When you are tired, your body craves simple carbohydrates (sugars) for a burst of energy, but simple carbs are the last thing you want to be consuming if weight loss is your goal.
The manufacture and release of two main hormones that regulate hunger is influenced by sleep deprivation. Even minor amounts of sleep deficit increase the secretion of Ghrelin, which is a hormone that not only increases appetite, it increases abdominal fat deposition. Sleep deficit also decreases the release of Leptin, a hormone that tells you to eat less. So sleep deprived people are likely to eat more, and to store more fat in their abdomen.
So if you are one of the 40% of Americans who don’t get all the sleep they should, and you are looking for a healthy, sustainable, rational way to lose weight, consider getting more sleep as an integral part of your plan. And sleep your way skinny!