Four Reasons Why Healthy Sleep Is Important For Weight Loss
Most people have a lot of the right ideas when it comes to weight loss. They know that they need to eat better and that they need to exercise more, for example. They also know that simply getting up out of the chair and being more active goes a long way. One aspect of a good diet that most people don't consider is a healthy night's sleep, however. Ideally, we spend eight hours per day at rest, but many people, whether due to their busy lifestyle or other factors, don't get enough each night. The goal of this article is to help you understand how vitally important that it is for you to take the time out each evening for a full night of quality rest.
The interesting thing about sleep is that you get the benefits explicitly from rest. There is no exercise routine, and you don't have to change your diet to experience these benefits. Metabolism can be augmented purely by adopting healthier sleeping habits. Think about sleep like a nutrient. It's as important as the water you drink and the food that you eat. In the same way that we can eat the wrong foods, we can suffer from malnutrition in our sleeping habits as well. Let's explain in depth how sleep encourages optimal health.
Sleep Helps Build Muscle
Did you know that sleep is a vitally important aspect of anaerobic exercise? You see, when you lift weights and exercise. You don't get stronger right away. When you lift weights, your muscles develop tiny, natural microscopic tears, and you become stronger through the healing process. This healing process takes place primarily at night, via the function of Human Growth Hormone and Testosterone.
While you are asleep, your body distributes Human Growth Hormone and Growth Factors all throughout the body in order to encourage repairs, and this speeds up the reinforcement process that takes place in the muscles, allowing you to grow stronger more quickly. Natural HGH is released on-and-off in bursts during sleep around once every hour and a half. It also benefits the skin and other organs, because HGH is an agent of cellular metabolism.
Testosterone is also released during sleep, in both sexes, although in much lower concentrations in women. Testosterone activates enzymes in the muscle cells which cause them to work more quickly and develop faster, which is why men have larger muscles than women, naturally. If you are interested in losing weight, developing muscle, and maintaining an increased energy level, sleep is as important as any other aspect of your exercise routine.
Sleep Helps Control Hunger
Sleep is not only an important part of your exercise routine, but also an important aspect of your diet. The hormone that is responsible for the sensation of satiation that occurs as we eat and become full is known as Leptin. Interestingly enough, researchers have found that men and women who don't get enough sleep don't produce enough of this hormone, which makes it much easier to overeat.
On the other hand, the opposite hormone, Ghrelin, becomes more active when we don't get enough rest, increasing our desire to eat and making it harder to remain satisfied with conscientious portions of healthy food. Our body relies heavily on proper hormone balance, which is encouraged by a circadian rhythm that is in tune and anchored by healthy sleeping habits.
Healthy Sleep Controls and Mitigates Stress
Most people understand that sleep is supposed to be a relaxing activity, but many people don't really understand exactly how extensively poor sleep can cause stress levels to go through the roof. This is because of sleep's influence on a stress hormone known as cortisol. Under normal, healthy circumstances, our cortisol levels reach their peak in the morning as a means to rouse us from sleep, and balance out once we eat breakfast. Then at the end of the day, cortisol levels fall very low, encouraging us to become sleepy and prepare for bed.
When we don't sleep well or don't get enough sleep, however, cortisol levels get out of balance and exacerbate sleeping issues. Some people experience heightened anxiety throughout the day. They also tend to have trouble sleeping because cortisol levels are higher than normal when it's time for bed, which causes sleeplessness, or causes people to be unable to reach deep phases of sleep necessary for hormone balance and distribution. This can lead to weight gain, loss of muscle mass, anxiety, and depression. By taking the time to ensure that you get the sleep that your body needs, you provide yourself with some free, much-needed therapy!
Sleep Helps Control Blood Sugar
Type-Two Diabetes is a full-blown epidemic in the United States these days, affecting millions of men and women across the nation. It is vitally important to keep blood sugar balanced in order to maintain health, preserve longevity, and reduce mortality risk. A diet flush in simple carbs and sugars causes the pancreas to secrete large amounts of Insulin all at once in order to transport glucose throughout the body. When these spikes are too large and too frequent, it confuses the body, and it develops a resistance to insulin.
One way to protect your body and your natural insulin sensitivity is to get a full night's rest. Study after study shows that the body's ability to regulate blood sugar is hampered significantly by poor sleeping habits. In addition to impacting your body's ability to utilize insulin, these insulin spikes also promote the body to convert glucose into fat instead of using it for energy. These patterns also increase your cravings for sweets and carbs. By sleeping better, you reduce cravings and help your insulin levels stay more balanced, which increases metabolism and helps you lose weight!
What Can I Do To Sleep Better?
Well, now you know why sleep is important, but what can you do to encourage healthy sleeping habits? The following are some suggestions:
Sleep in Absolute Darkness - The body recognizes darkness as a sign to fall asleep. Cover up lights in your room and cover windows.
No Playing in Bed - Many people like to play on their laptop or watch television in bed. This could be making it harder to sleep, because the brain no longer associates the bed with restful sleep.
Give Yourself Time For a Good Night's Rest - For some people, their poor sleeping habits are an issue of poor scheduling. Always make sure that you have a full eight hours to devote to healthy sleep.
See a Professional If You Have Chronic Sleep Issues - Sleep Apnea is a major health issue, and if you have trouble getting the rest you need in spite of a full night's rest, you may be suffering from a condition such as sleep apnea which inhibits your ability to sleep restfully. Make an appointment and get yourself checked out!