A new study has found another connection between losing weight and sleeping (lack of sleep has previously been linked to irregular hormones when it comes to feelings of hunger and fullness). Sleep is so important, your body reacts to it at a cellular level!
Fat cells function poorly on low amounts of sleep, specifically they start to become insulin resistant—potentially causing weight gain and increasing the possibility of developing type 2 diabetes.
The body needs some fat stores to remain healthy, but most Americans get far too much in their diet, and most of that fat is the “wrong” kind (trans fats, fats that are unbalanced in types of cholesterol and Omega fatty acids, etc.).
So if you’re looking to lose weight and improve health, try getting a little more sleep. 7-9 hours is the sweet spot: besides insulin resistance, less sleep than that ups your risk for heart attack and stroke, and more is associated with other health problems.
If you need help getting to sleep, exercise can really help (and will do double duty if you’re trying to lose weight!). Just make sure you do it in the morning so endorphins aren’t keeping you awake at night.
Eating too much before bed is another common problem among people with insomnia: try to stop eating (and drinking, if you’re not dehydrated) 2 hours before going to sleep. It’s easier on your metabolism & heart, too. Most heart attacks occur around 3 AM—and eating before bed is thought to be one of the reasons!
So enjoy your rest, because it has a bigger impact on your health than most people suspect!
What are your tips for getting to sleep?