31 Dec

What Is the Connection Between Sleep and Weight Loss?

If you are on a weight loss plan, it’s also important to consider the role adequate sleep plays in weight management. Lack of sleep can affect many aspects of your body function, such as metabolism, energy levels, and mood. With this, we give you all you need to know about why sleep is important for weight loss and how to maintain consistent quality sleep.

How Sleep Deprivation Affects Your Metabolism

Research from the National Library of Medicine showed that sleep deprivation and disorders have profound cardiovascular and even metabolic implications. When you are asleep, your body undergoes restorative processes that impact various physiological functions. And one of the central players in this process of rejuvenation is metabolism. 

Metabolism occurs within the body to convert food into energy. When you are sleep deprived or have sleep disorders, studies have shown that it can alter your glucose metabolism and hormones that regulate your metabolism. 

The extra time you spend awake may even increase your opportunities to eat at night; sleeping less can also interfere with your circadian rhythm and affect your weight loss goals.

How Sleep Affects Hunger and Appetite

Two key hormones – ghrelin and leptin – help regulate the body’s metabolism. Ghrelin stimulates appetite, while leptin signals fullness. When you skimp on sleep, this delicate hormonal balance is disrupted and can interfere with your weight loss journey. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that a lack of sleep results in an increase in ghrelin levels and a decrease in leptin levels, promoting heightened hunger and overeating.

Therefore, those late-night cravings for unhealthy snacks or extra servings may not just be a lack of willpower; they could very well be the result of a sleep-deprived body signalling a need for more energy. That’s why it is important to restore your energy through adequate sleep to manage these late-night cravings. 

The Role of Sleep in Physical Activity

Aside from affecting your appetite, sleep can also play a role in your motivation and energy to do physical activity, which is essential in your weight loss journey. 

Whether you're an avid gym-goer or just someone who enjoys a morning walk, the quality of your sleep directly correlates with your workout performance and muscle recovery. If you regularly go to the gym, sleep deprivation can affect your workout performance, increasing your risk of sports injuries. Therefore, having sufficient sleep is important for gaining strength and energy to perform exercises effectively.

Impact of Sleep on Stress and Weight Management

There is also a significant correlation between your sleep and stress levels, which, in turn, affects your weight management. This is because your cortisol, also known as your stress hormone, increases when you feel physical or psychological stress. Like adrenalin, cortisol is a fight-or-flight hormone that raises your blood pressure and insulin production. When your insulin level increases, your blood sugar drops, and you start craving sugary foods. Chronic stress and poor sleep can thus create a vicious cycle, making it a challenge for weight loss.

Ways on How You Can Ensure Quality Sleep & Healthy Weight Management

Here are actionable ways to ensure both a rejuvenating night's sleep and help you along your weight loss journey:

1. Establish a Consistent Sleep Schedule

One simple habit you can start is to maintain a regular sleep routine. Practice going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This can help regulate your circadian rhythm or the body’s internal clock, optimising the quality of your sleep. Additionally, when your circadian rhythm is on track, it can ensure a good balance between wakefulness during the day and rest at night.

2. Create a Relaxing Bedtime Ritual

Engage in calming activities before bedtime. These activities can include reading, gentle stretching, or practising mindfulness meditation. These rituals signal to your body that it's time to wind down, promoting a more tranquil transition into sleep.

3. Limit Screen Time Before Bed

The blue light from your phone or tablet screen can affect your body's melatonin production, a hormone crucial for sleep. Therefore, aim to limit your screen time to at least one hour before bedtime. This can also help in improving your sleep quality.

4. Mind Your Diet

Avoid heavy meals close to bedtime since digestion can disrupt sleep. 

Additionally, be mindful of caffeine and alcohol intake. This is because substances from these beverages can interfere with your sleep cycle. In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, caffeine consumed 6 hours before bedtime reduced sleep by more than one hour. This degree of sleep deprivation, if occurring multiple nights, can affect daytime function. On the other hand, consuming alcohol, especially in excess, is associated with poor sleep quality and duration. There have even been studies that indicate the use of alcohol can exacerbate sleep apnea symptoms.


5. Consider Natural Sleep Supplements 

There are several sleep supplements in Singapore that claim to be able to help you get quality sleep but also promote mood balance and manage a healthy weight. One of these sleep supplements are those with ingredients, such as Ashwagandha Root Extract, PM Burn Recovery Complex, and L-Tryptophan. 

Ashwagandha Root Extract is an herbal medicine that is commonly used in traditional Ayurveda health practices. Studies have shown that it may help in fighting stress, as it is said to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help in managing anxiety and cognitive impairment. Moreover, Ashwagandha may also have sleep-promoting effects, with research stating that the triethylene glycol present in the herb may bring on sleepiness. The herb’s GABA receptors can also play a significant role in regulating the body’s sleep-wake cycle. 

Supplements with PM Burn Recovery Complex also support fat loss as you fall asleep, as it is a thermogenic that helps increase your metabolism. Additionally, L-Tryptophan is an amino acid that can be converted into two essential hormones: serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin influences the body’s sleep, cognition, and mood, while melatonin is involved in the sleep-wake cycle. 

However, if you’re considering incorporating these sleep supplements or any sleep and weight loss products online in your weight loss plan, make sure to consult your doctor. That way, they can assess whether the supplement is the right fit for your condition. 

For more health and weight management insights, learn more about how Manuka Honey can be a healthy replacement for your sweeteners and how you can benefit from omega-3 fatty acids.

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