Do you want to know how losing weight can help you sleep better?
When it comes to improving your sleep, the advice most people give is to exercise more, or to cut off any electronic devices that would emit blue light before going to bed. Although these are very good habits to have, there is always room to improve your sleep.
I recently learned a surprising yet powerfurl way to improve your sleep quality: losing weight.
Truth be told, this information doesn’t help me in any way given that I am quite lean, but I wanted to share this information with people who might benefit from it. Hence, if you’re not overweight then chances are you won’t be as much concerned. However, I believe it is still very important to know this information as it can have huge benefits.
Let’s go over the benefits of losing weight and how it can benefit your sleep.
Being Overweight Keeps You Energized
What allows you to wake up early in the morning and can prevent you from sleeping at night sometimes is the cortisol hormone. Its role is to give you as much energy as possible.
Cortisol levels are supposed to be high throughout the day and low during the night. In short, if your cortisol levels happen to be unusually high before you go to bed due to stress or your circadian rhythm being thrown off, then you won’t be able to sleep.
A study presented by Deakin University in Australia demonstrated that overweight individuals secreted 51% more cortisol after consuming a meal. On the other hand, healthy people’s levels of cortisol only increased by 5%.
This shows how big of a disruption it does to your sleep: there’s no chance you can possibly sleep well with 51% more cortisol in your body during the night! Note that the cortisol hormone is also called ‘the stress hormone’, which is a fitting name for something that keeps you awake at night.
Changing Your Diet Makes A Huge Difference
Scientists recruited 77 overweight volunteers who reported experiencing sleep problems to conduct a study.
Half of the volunteers went on a weight-loss diet with supervised exercise training. The other half just did the diet. After six months, participants in both groups had lost an average of 15 pounds and reduced their belly fat by 15%.
As a result, everyone boosted their sleep quality by an astonishing 20%! The most incredible part is that it also worked with people who did nothing but changed their diet.
Moral of the story: you sleep better even when you just change your diet!
In adults, the most common cause of obstructive sleep apnea is excess weight and obesity. This sleep disorder is characterized by pauses in breathing or unfrequent breathing during sleep. Not only a nuisance, it may also become dangerous.
It eventually results in many problems, such as abnormal blood pressure.
Sleep specialist Margaret Moline and Lauren Broch say: ”As the person gains weight, especially in the trunk and neck area, the risk of sleep-disordered breathing increases due to compromised respiratory function.”
It is also estimated that about 18 millions of Americans suffer from sleep apnea. Are you one of them?
Fatigue And Excess Weight: A Vicious Circle
A Study at Stanford University found that when individuals were sleep deprived, they had shocking fall of leptin levels. Leptin is known as the ‘satiety hormone’ which regulates our appetite. When that happens, your brain is looking for anything that can satisfy your appetite.
In other words, the more tired you are the more you sense this urge to eat.
However, the story doesn’t end here: Scientists at University of California, Berkley, did some brain imaging scans and found that sleep deprivation trigger the amygdale part of the brain, which is directly related to your urge to eat.
Plainly said, the more you eat, the more tired you feel, which will make you want to eat even more, which will disrupt your sleep once more, etc.. In short, it becomes a vicious circle.
Eve Van Cauter, PhD, professor of medicine at the University of Chicago said: ”Sleep deprivation is the royal route to obesity.”
As discussed in this article, there are multiple reasons that makes an overweight indivual more likely to be sleep deprived. However, there is only one solution to solve that problem: lose some weight. It’s not that difficult, and will make a tremendous difference in your life by improving your sleep quality by 20%!
That’s it for the tips on how losing weight can help you sleep better!