In our fast-paced, always-on world, it's easy to see sleep as a mere inconvenience, a waste of precious time that could be better spent on social activities. However, the truth is that sleep plays a crucial role in our health and well-being, and neglecting it can have serious consequences, including weight gain.
Studies have shown a strong link between the quality of our sleep and our weight. The exact nature of this relationship is still being explored, but it's believed that sleep affects our hunger hormones and metabolism, as well as our energy levels and motivation to exercise. Research has found that people who sleep less than 7 hours per night are more likely to be overweight or obese, while those who report better sleep quality are more likely to succeed in their weight loss efforts. (1)
One study by Thomson et al (2012) specifically looked at the relationship between sleep and weight loss in overweight women participating in a weight-loss program. The researchers found that women who reported better sleep quality and slept for more than 7 hours per night were 33% more likely to successfully lose weight compared to those who reported poor sleep quality or slept for less than 7 hours. (2) The results of this study suggest that paying attention to your sleep can be an important factor in achieving your weight loss goals.
But why is sleep so important for weight loss? When we sleep, our bodies are in a state of repair and rejuvenation, and our hormones are working to regulate our metabolism, energy levels, and hunger levels. When we don't get enough sleep, our hormone levels can become disrupted, leading to overeating, cravings for junk food, and a slower metabolism.
So, if you're struggling with your weight and have been unable to achieve your desired results, it may be worth considering the role that sleep plays. Aim to get at least 7 hours of quality sleep each night, and see if this makes a difference to your weight loss efforts.
In conclusion, while we may think of sleep as a mere inconvenience, the truth is that it plays a critical role in our overall health and well-being, including our ability to achieve our weight loss goals. By taking care of your sleep, you could be setting yourself up for success in your weight loss journey.
Notes from Editor. Please share your comments below and help us to expand our knowledge in this area.
(1) Ogilvie RP, Patel SR. The epidemiology of sleep and obesity. Sleep Health. 2017 Oct;3(5):383-388. doi: 10.1016/j.sleh.2017.07.013. Epub 2017 Aug 15. PMID: 28923198; PMCID: PMC5714285.
(2) Thomson CA, Morrow KL, Flatt SW, Wertheim BC, Perfect MM, Ravia JJ, Sherwood NE, Karanja N, Rock CL. Relationship between sleep quality and quantity and weight loss in women participating in a weight-loss intervention trial. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2012 Jul;20(7):1419-25. doi: 10.1038/oby.2012.62. Epub 2012 Mar 8. PMID: 22402738; PMCID: PMC4861065.