Does sleep affect my body weight?
Every week, there is a new fad diet or complicated scientific program offering all of us that perfect, quick fix to lose those extra few kilograms we may be carrying around.
Unfortunately, living at the pace of today’s busy world can make it difficult to eat healthy and find enough time to exercise. But while regular exercise and a nutritious diet are obvious ways to get into shape and improve overall health, did you know that quality sleep might be the boost you need to best manage your weight?
So, what role does sleep actually play in maintaining our waistlines?
Sleep and Your Energy Levels
Quality sleep has a flow-on effect through the day. After a good night’s rest, you’ll get a boost in energy compared to days when you are sleep deprived. As a result, you are likely to exercise more vigorously and be far more motivated to stick to healthy eating, because being disciplined is far easier when you are feeling refreshed compared to when you are tired.
Sleep and Your Metabolism
Studies have found that even a single poor night’s sleep can slow our metabolisms and at the same time, increase out appetite1, thus having a two-fold effect. When your metabolism is impaired, the body is not effectively processing the calories from food into sustenance, and that is compounded by the fact that your increased appetite is encouraging you to overeat, leading to weight gain.
Don’t Just Count Calories- Count Sheep Too!
A study by researchers at Otago University a few years ago concluded that a lack of sleep is the main cause of obesity in children2. It’s not hard to imagine this having a flow on effect into adulthood, which means it’s time we all started getting antiquate sleep each night to avoid these risks.
Establishing good habits and staying in shape can be a difficult and daunting task, so here are some pointers:
- Start by keeping track of your sleep schedule. Are you getting the necessary seven hours? If you feel you are still lethargic even with those seven hours, try getting to sleep a little earlier.
- Exercise consistently. Even if it’s a quick walk around the block, activity can help to increase your quality of sleep.
- Make the right choices when it comes to your meals. By maintaining a balanced diet, you’ll give yourself more energy, in turn making it easier to exercise and, eventually, have that good night’s sleep you truly need.
- Talk to your doctor if you are not sleeping well
The Eight Ways To Improve Your Sleep
So, how do we get the right amount of quality sleep each night to prevent unhealthy weight gain? Well, we have created a free eBook, called the 8 Ways To Sleep Better Tonight, which explains the eight best ways to improve your sleep in order to keep your energy levels high and your metabolism strong every day.
 The Guardian. ‘Bad sleep makes it harder to keep your waistline down.’ May 2017. < https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/may/20/sleep-deprivation-link-obesity-research>. Accessed 1 June 2017.
 Radio NZ. ‘Lack of sleep main cause of childhood obesity – study’. < http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/76321/lack-of-sleep-main-cause-of-childhood-obesity-study>. Accessed 1 June 2017.