You Won’t Believe How Important Sleep Is for Weight loss

Despite what you may see on TV or read in your social media feed, weight loss isn’t easy. If it were, more than 60% of adults in California wouldn’t be overweight or obese. One of the major problems with many cookie-cutter diet programs is that they only take one thing into consideration: diet. But many factors affect your weight, including sleep.

Dr. Dennis Roberts in Indio, California, is a weight loss specialist who takes a lifestyle approach to losing weight and keeping it off, and he considers your sleep habits one of the key factors that can make or break your success. Here, we share how lack of sleep can sabotage your weight loss efforts.

The need for sleep

Your nightly slumber benefits your mental and physical health, and it affects the quality of the day to come. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a night.

You may view sleep as the part of your day where your body and mind shut down, but a lot goes on behind the scenes when you’re in dreamland. While you’re sleeping, your body is hard at work repairing, rebuilding, and replenishing energy stores to get you ready for the next day. 

Poor sleeping habits, hormones, and weight loss

Although sleep is essential and beneficial, getting a restful 7-9 hours every night isn’t as easy as it sounds. Stress, health conditions, and poor sleep habits can interfere with your daily sleep needs.

And your restless night of sleep may be sabotaging your weight loss efforts. In a review published in Advanced Nutrition, researchers noted that a link between inadequate sleep, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease may be related to dietary habits. The researchers reported that people who don’t get enough sleep tend to eat more and make poor food choices.

Although there are many potential reasons why lack of sleep affects your intake and food choices, your hormones may be partly to blame. People who don’t get an adequate amount of sleep have higher ghrelin levels (hunger hormone) and lower leptin levels (appetite suppressing hormone), which may lead to overeating. Your poor sleep habits also elevate blood cortisol levels, which is a stress hormone that inhibits weight loss.

In addition to hormones, your lack of sleep also enhances your brain’s desire for rewards, which may trigger cravings for unhealthy foods high in processed carbs and fat. Not getting an adequate amount of rest also zaps your energy and motivation, making it difficult to stick to your exercise program and diet plan. 

Getting the sleep you need

When you participate in our doctor-supervised weight loss program, we work closely with you to help you develop healthy habits that support your weight loss goals, which includes making sure your body gets the rest it needs. To help you develop healthy sleep habits, we may recommend:

To reduce stress and increase relaxation before turning out the light, turn off the screens and take a warm bath or read a good book. 

Diet and exercise aren’t the only things you need to change to lose the weight — good sleep habits really are important. If you’re ready to lose the weight for good, we’d love to help. Contact us today by calling the office or requesting an appointment online to learn more about our doctor-supervised program.

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