29 Feb 2016

Generically speaking, many people seem to overlook the importance of sleep where health and achieving optimal results are concerned. Scientists have identified sleep as one of the cornerstone of health, mental and physical.

It turns out sleep not only can keep you healthy, it can also help you slim down, and stay that way. In fact, the growing epidemic of insomnia is thought to be related to the growing waistline of the population, and lack of sleep has been shown to be a potent hormonal disruptor  on top of this. In fact, the obesity curves in the Western World countries match the sleep deprivation curves. Coincidence or?

One of the main effect of sleep deprivation is that it drives inflammation up in the body. Inflammation is known as ‘the silent killer” because it aggravates any other conditions and diseases and can deteriorate health on its own. Inflammation is definitely not something you want more of. When a client comes to me for help, one of the first issues i will address immediatley is inflammation.

Inflammation in turn reduces your sensitivity to insulin and drives up cortisol. Cortisol is the stress hormone that opposes insulin, the nutrient-storing hormone. They are on a delicate balance between each other to keep your blood sugar level. Ever noticed how after a night of restless sleep you seem to crave sugary foods more? That’s because lack of sleep alters the balance between insulin and cortisol and destabilises your blood sugar, making you go for that biscuit tin!

But lack of sleep alters more than your sweet tooth. It can also diminish the production of leptin and boost production of ghrelin, two hormones that regulate your appetite. Leptin is responsible for telling you that you are full, while ghrelin signals hunger, telling you it’s time to eat/ Sleeping 1 hour less than usual can make you eat as much as 45% more food, according to one study.

The above issues do not stop there,  as sleep disruption will also make you produce less testosterone and less growth hormone, and both are necessary to maintain a good lean mass to fat mass ratio as well as regenerating from a hard fat loss workout.

A lot of these hormonal changes are made possible by lessening the production of melatonin, which is produced during sleep and is responsible for triggering the proper hormonal cascade

The duration of your sleep is predictive of the magnitude of your fat loss when on a diet and exercise program. When given caloric restriction, people in a sleep-deprived group lost less fat than people in a normal sleep group.
Researchers have also noted that circadian rhythm and daily habits will have the same effect, so this is bad news if you are a shift-worker or don’t have a regular schedule.

Overall, sleep is one of the most potent habits you can have to improve your health and lost more fat faster.

Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.