A recent study found those sleeping 8.5 hours had 55% greater fat loss than those sleeping 5.5 hours. 5-5-percent. This is explained by a few factors occurring when you’re not sleeping enough. The Academic Journal of Sleep reports a 37% increase in cortisol, promoting muscle breakdown and a slower your metabolic rate. Slower metabolism = less fat loss. Further research notes changes in your hunger hormones: ghrelin, increasing your hunger, rises by 18%; whereas leptin, the hormone to limit hunger, decreases by 28%. This study also found you also have a 24% increase in appetite and up to 45% higher cravings for sugary carbohydrates. So essentially, you’re hungrier, less satisfied, crave carbs and have a stunted metabolic rate when you’re not sleeping enough.
The flipside to that is when you do sleep enough, you’ll more easily slim down, curb your cravings and find yourself more satisfied with less. And as your resident sleep specialist; here are my go-to solutions:
How You Can Sleep More
- Sign up to my 28 Day Rest and Reset Program: Similarly to your personal trainer at the gym, if you’re looking to sleep properly, enlisting in professional support is key. My upcoming program is designed for time-poor women who want simple strategies to improve sleep and reduce stress. Telling you exactly what to do and when to do it, you’ll be sleeping deeper and falling asleep faster within days. Contact me for more information.
- Do yoga: Clinical research notes that yoga helps reduce anxiety – which can otherwise impede sleep in the evening. Encouraging deeper breathing, this minimizes ‘fight or flight’ syndrome which can otherwise leave you feeling anxious and wide awake. Similarly, Nikki Sharp, author of The 5 Day Detox, advises you can see weight loss using yoga instead of exercise – helping reduce stress hormone cortisol, high cortisol levels can otherwise contribute to muscle breakdown, slowing your metabolism.
- Eat fish or eggs daily: both contain amino acid tryptophan, this helps your body produce melatonin, the hormone to make you sleepy. Further, eggs and fish such as tuna and salmon contain omega 3’s and omega 6’s in a perfect ratio, helping reduce anxiety which can otherwise keep you awake – as noted in Nutritional Neuroscience.