We all know that working out, eating cleaner and drinking water are keys to physical fitness. For those of us struggling to lose weight, we may be missing out on a key component in our weight loss journey.
Sleep can be a major factor in our ability to lose weight and keep it off. Here’s some of the science around the hormones that are directly affected by a lack of quality sleep:
· Ghrelin – this is the “go” hormone. Ghrelin cues our hunger and tells us to go eat. When we’re sleep-deprived (that is, not enough or poor sleep) research has shown our bodies produce more ghrelin than normal.
· Leptin – this is the “stop” hormone. Leptin tells our brains we’re full and satisfied and that we should stop eating. When we’re sleep-deprived, our bodies make less leptin.
More ghrelin and less leptin equals, you guessed it, overeating and subsequent weight gain. And surprise, surprise; excess weight can contribute to airway obstruction and developing sleep apnea, robbing us of even more sleep and leading to more weight gain. Sounds like a vicious cycle because it is!
· Insulin – we all know what this one is. When we don’t sleep well, our bodies resist and even block insulin’s ability to do its job and bring energy to our cells. It’s as if poor sleep could make us diabetic…hmmmm…
And what’s worse is that insulin also promotes the release of leptin (the “stop eating” hormone) which means without leptin we eat more, gain more.
Sleep less, eat more, gain more, sleep less…you get it. I think I’m dizzy.
How do we stop the merry-go-round? Well, get better sleep is the easy answer. Not only will your hormones start to correct themselves, but you’ll have less fatigue and more energy to work out, which will drive you to your fitness goals even faster.
If you have trouble falling or staying asleep, wake up unrefreshed, or if people hear you snore loudly or stop breathing at night you need to see a sleep specialist to determine what is preventing your body and mind from restorative, restful sleep.
Innovative Sleep Centers is fully accredited with 9 locations in Washington and California to help you diagnose and treat your sleep issues. Visit our Locations page to find a clinic near you. If you aren’t located in an area we can help you, ask your primary care physician for a referral to an accredited sleep center.
Good sleep is a reachable dream!