Our body needs adequate sleep in order to filter toxins, to rebuild itself and to charge its batteries. However, few people know that sleep can actually affect your weight in a positive way. In other words, you can shed pounds in a safe, natural and side effect-free manner with the right amount of sleep. Here you will find the main reasons why sleep helps you lose weight, along with the main pros and cons:
How Can Sleep Help You Lose Weight?
Various studies have revealed the fact that a lack of sleep can lead to severe health and weight problems in the long run. In a 16 year study of sleep deprived women published in the American Journal Of Epidemiology, researchers found that those who slept seven to eight hours a night had the lowest risk of major weight gain, while women who got six hours per night were 12% more likely to pile on a significant number of pounds, and those who logged five hours or less were 32% more likely to gain weight.
Sleep deprivation can increase food cravings, as the lack of sleep causes changes in hormone levels. Otherwise stated, sleep deprivation modified the levels of cortisol, an essential hormone that regulates the metabolism of protein, fat and sugar. In addition, the levels of leptin and ghrelin (two other essential hormones that influence appetite) are also affected by the lack of sleep. The less you sleep, the more hungry you will feel during the day!
How Much Sleep Do We Need?
The amount of sleep that people need varies based on certain factors, such as age and metabolism. For instance, children need around ten hours of sleep per night to maintain a stable weight throughout the years. Adults, on the other hand, require at least 8 hours of sleep. If you sleep less, then you are almost twice as likely to gain weight because, as stated above, sleep deprivation interferes with hormonal activity.
A tip that can help you lose weight while sleeping is to use less blankets and lower the overall temperature in your room. If you do so, your body will have to burn more calories in order to maintain a stable body temperature.
One of the main advantages is that the entire weight loss process is done in a safe and natural way, and no pills or supplements are required. Sleeping is perfectly normal, so why not use it in your best interest?
Another important benefit of sleeping is that you can lose weight without having to worry about the so-called "Rebound Effect". In other words, the lost pounds will not return after several weeks – provided that you sleep enough in the long run, of course!
The rebound effect is a commonly met problem, but fortunately it can be easily avoided – all you have to do is to get enough sleep. Besides, sleeping has other important health benefits: it will boost your immune system, and it will also reduce the risk for developing heart disease and mood disorders like depression.
Last but not least, another great advantage is that no diets or regular exercises are required to lose weight: all you have to do is to design a correct sleeping schedule and stick to it. You do not have to spend hours at the gym or to exhaust yourself – your body will burn fat all by itself just by getting the right amount of sleep!
One of the main drawbacks is that you might be tempted to sleep too much, and that will make you feel tired throughout the entire day. Moreover, many people find it extremely difficult to sleep 8 hours a day, if they have been sleeping no more than 6-7 hours over the past several years. Even though adjusting to a new sleeping schedule is difficult, it is not impossible!
To sum up, you can easily and effectively lose weight by simply changing your sleep habits. You do not have to starve yourself or to follow severe diets to reach the desired weight – all you have to do is to sleep enough.
Ryan Phillips is an online fat loss coach and author of the Rapid Fat Loss System. You can ask him for advice on his blog or download his free report here Free Fat Loss Report to help you drop fat in the fastest and easiest way possible.