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Snooze to Lose Pounds

If you want to find a way to lose weight faster, and you think there is nothing new under the sun, then what I’m about to tell you will make you nod off.

According to Dr. Kenneth Goodrick at Baylor University, a good night’s sleep is vital for weight loss.

He believes that lack of sleep robs people of the energy they need to exercise and sets up a vicious low-energy cycle that sabotages your weight loss program. Often when energy reserves are low, people turn to high-fat and high-sugar-laden foods or caffeinated drinks for energy pick-me-ups…all of which interfere with weight loss efforts. Some may drink 10 to 15 caffeinated beverages a day, which harms sleep quality. It’s a double whammy.

This is not the only fascinating connection between sleep and weight gain. Researchers have found there are two hormones involved. Leptin, a hormone that suppresses appetite, and ghrelin, which increases food intake and is thought to play a role in the long-term regulation of body weight. Sleep deprivation lowers the levels of leptin and raises levels of ghrelin. This is believed to be why obese people suffering from sleep apnea often weigh faster than others.

Goodrick says, “Sleep is a time for the brain, the body, and all the hormones to get regulated and restore themselves to the baseline values for the next day. If you have caffeine or inadequate sleep, you don’t have a chance for all of those vital processes to get finished. So you’re ending not quite fit, or metabolically where you should be”.

What is a good night’s sleep? Participants in a US study who got less than 4 hours of sleep each night were 73 percent more likely to be obese than those who sleep between 7 and 9 hours a night, the recommended amount. Those who slept only 5 hours each night were 50 percent more likely to be overweight, and those who slept 6 hours a night were 23 percent more likely to be overweight. It’s official, for good health we all need to wake up and get a good night’s sleep.

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