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Sleep & Weight loss success – what’s the link?

Sleeping well each night can increase your chances of successfully losing weight. It’s a biological fact!

Less than 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night for as little as 3 to 4 days will not only make you feel groggy and grouchy, but it will also:

  • Slow your metabolism
  • Reduce your body’s ability to burn calories
  • Impair your ability to control your appetite or make sensible decisions

Why? Learn more about the hormonal and psychological effects of sleep deprivation below.

Insulin Sensitivity

Balanced insulin levels enable fat cells to remove lipids (fats) and fatty acids from your blood and prevent fat storage.

Sleep deprivation significantly reduces your insulin sensitivity (University of Chicago) allowing lipids to circulate within your bloodstream. This creates excessive insulin levels, which eventually leads to fat storage in the wrong places (i.e. within liver tissues), weight gain and potentially diabetes.

Hunger Hormones

Your hunger is not controlled by willpower, but by two nightly ‘hunger hormones’, ghrelin and leptin.

Ghrelin is the hormone that tells you when to eat. When you are sleep-deprived, you have more ghrelin than Leptin, the hormone that tells you to stop eating. More ghrelin plus less leptin equals weight gain.

Sleep deprivation not only leads to increased levels of ghrelin making you feel hungrier, but researchers from the University of California also found that brain activity is impaired in the regions of the cortex that evaluates appetite and satiation. There was also a boost of activity in areas of the brain associated with craving. Sleep deprivation not only affects the hormonal balance making us hungrier but the impaired brain activity leads us to make poor food choices too which further endorses the link between lack of sleep and weight gain.

Cortisol Levels

Lack of sleep also increases levels of cortisol which help regulate metabolism and fat storage processes. This hormone also activates your brain’s reward centres responsible for wanting food.

High levels of cortisol and ghrelin therefore contribute to greater feelings of hunger, even if you have just eaten a large meal.

High cortisol levels can also slow growth hormone production and decrease the synthesis of protein which impairs your body’s ability to build muscle and burn fat, as well as your ability to effectively recover after exercise, making exercise a challenging and almost unbearable chore.

In summary, sleep deprivation makes it virtually impossible to effectively lose weight. Our advice for successful weight loss is therefore to get plenty of sleep, eat healthily, exercise regularly and – if you want to lose more weight faster – add formoline L112 to your daily routine. Learn more.

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