Getting enough regular sleep can help you lose weight

A good night’s sleep can keep you trim

Keen to stay healthy? Heading to the gym and watching what you eat is a good start. But did you know that getting enough regular sleep can actually help you lose weight?

A lack of sleep may predispose you to weight gain

We’ve all heard the statistics. Australians are not getting enough sleep.  Ideally, adults should aim at between seven and nine hours sleep every night. Research at the University of Adelaide confirmed that between 33 and 45 percent of Australian adults are either not sleeping enough or are sleeping badly.  The consequences are alarming. Poor work performance, nodding off while driving and an array of health issues (coronary heart disease, stroke, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, hypertension, depression, erectile dysfunction, nocturia, cognitive impairment and mortality risk), can all result from a lack of sleep. At the same time, the worldwide prevalence of obesity has doubled since 1980.

The question is: what’s the relationship between sleep and weight loss?

 

A study in the US asked 68,183 women to report on how long they slept each night. The research was done over 16 years.  

The results of the study showed that “short sleep duration is associated with a modest increase in future weight gain and incident obesity.” Our research found three reasons linking sleep and weight gain:

1. A lack of sleep affects your body clock

Hypothalamic-pituitary functions, including those that influence eating, energy balance and metabolism, are strongly tied to circadian rhythms – otherwise known as your ‘body clock’. They’re also related to the processes that regulate your sleep.

Disruption to your circadian clock can affect your metabolism. Tests show that, if the body clock is thrown out, it leads to obesity and metabolic dysfunction. Experiments on lean people have also found that short-term sleep restriction has significant effects on cortisol, glucose tolerance, and growth hormone secretion.

2. Tired people move less

Many of us spend hours a day hunched over an iPad or laptop – often into the wee hours. This is particularly true for young Australians. Yet even before the universal use of technology, a 2004 study of young adults indicated that fatigue, resulting from a lack of sleep, leads to less physical activity. This resulted in less energy expenditure and a measurable tendency to gain weight.

3. When we’re tired, we eat more of the ‘bad’ stuff

Turns out, an attack of the late-night munchies is more common if we’re tired. Research has found that when sleep-deprived, people eat more comfort foods that are high in fat and sugar. This behaviour is driven by hormonal changes.

Your brain also works differently when you’re tired. You’re less likely to resist those tempting snacks and more likely to eat larger portions.

 

A good night’s sleep is great for your health

It’s clear that sleep is important for our overall well-being. Chronic sleep disturbance can affect both our physical and our mental health. Being able to switch off is important – and getting more difficult as our technology and our changing work habits demand our attention. So tonight, when your head hits the pillow, feel good in the knowledge that sleeping is one of the best things you can do for your health.

Time for a new mattress or pillow?

Getting adequate support and comfort is essential to a good night’s sleep. Is it time to invest in a better mattress and comfy pillow? The latest mattress and pillow technology from SleepX is designed to optimise your comfort for a great night’s sleep. Take a look at the SleepX range today. We’ve got it all covered – six different sizes and three comfort feels to choose from. For more information visit sleepx.com.au or call 1800 975 337.