There are many ways to lose weight, but did you know that good sleep is possibly the most important factor.
You can actually gain weight by not getting adequate sleep and increase the speed with which you can lose weight by sleeping properly.
You were always told as a kid that you did all your growing and healing in your sleep, but weight loss?
Recent studies have shown a strong metabolic link.
This is a truly fascinating subject.
Insomnia – Lack Of Sleep
Chronic sleep loss, jet lag, and shift work are widespread in our modern 24/7 societies. They are associated with an increased risk of many metabolic problems, including obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. (1)
Even minor weekly shifts in sleep timing, or as few as five consecutive nights of short sleep, have been associated with an increased risk of weight gain in healthy humans. (1)
Let’s see how this actually takes place with a short look at the metabolic processes involved.
You will quickly see how important good sleep can be when trying to lose weight.
Circadian Rhythm – The Sleep, Wake Cycle, And Weight Gain
The identification of clocks in nearly every single cell of the body raises questions as to how this gives rise to rhythmic physiology in the body and how environmental signals, such as light and dark cycles, synchronize body clocks to geographical time. (6)
The hormone melatonin triggers sleep in humans and are controlled by the light-dark cycle, setting the timing of the circadian clock. Bright light exposure in the morning and avoidance of light in the evening has been demonstrated as an effective treatment for circadian rhythm sleep disorders. (2)
Circadian rhythms emanate from the central circadian pacemaker in the hypothalamus, and these rhythms help synchronize the molecular circadian clocks in the other cells and tissues matching the daily patterns of behavior, such as feeding, activity, and sleep. However, poor alignments between internal circadian rhythms and daily behaviors occur in the many millions of people who perform shift work.
This circadian disruption may contribute to the adverse health consequences of shift work, including fatigue and poor sleep, gastrointestinal complaints, detrimental metabolic changes, and increased risks of developing obesity and diabetes. (7)
Resting Metabolic Rate
It is worth mentioning resting metabolic rate quickly.
Resting metabolic rate is the rate with which your body burns energy while you sleep, so restoring this to normal will affect up to one-third of your bodies energy usage.
Daily energy expenditure can fluctuate markedly from day to day according to individual behavioral tendencies. By contrast, resting metabolic rate is the largest component of total daily energy expenditure and is quite uniform across the day and between days and can, therefore, generate a more constant energetic demand. (8)
If you look at the diagram below you can see on the left side that Resting Metabolic rate is largely responsible for controlling our appetite.
Considering total daily Energy Expenditure, it is noticeable that Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) is its largest component (50–70%), of which Fat-Free Mass is the major contributor, accounting for about 60–70%. The strong implication of these relationships is that RMR, as a measure of Energy Expenditure, reflects a physiological demand for energy that acts as an ‘appetite driver’ of food intake. (9)
Having a healthy sleep and a regular circadian rhythm not only helps improve RMR but also helps regulate insulin and control blood sugar, another major factor in weight gain.
Insulin Resistance Caused By Lack Of Sleep
Short sleep duration is associated with an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes and causes insulin resistance. (4) It is common for people with weight problems and obesity to have developed Type 2 diabetes due to insulin resistance. This is worth explaining a little further.
Insulin resistance is defined as a reduced response of target tissues such as the skeletal muscle, liver, and fat cells (adipocytes), to insulin. Large skeletal muscle such as the legs is the predominant site of insulin-mediated glucose uptake. (3)
When Type 2 diabetic patients initially present to the physician, they will have had their diabetes for many years, and defects in insulin action (in muscle, liver, and adipocytes) and insulin secretion will be well established. Results, spanning a wide range of ethnic groups, clearly demonstrate that insulin resistance, and not insulin deficiency, initiates the sequence of events leading to the development of Type 2 diabetes. (3)
Prolonged sleep restriction along with circadian disruption significantly decreases the resting metabolic rate and causes inadequate pancreatic beta-cell responsiveness. These normalize with only 9 days of recovery sleep and stable circadian re-entrainment. Thus, in humans, prolonged sleep restriction along with circadian disruption alters metabolism and could increase the risk of obesity and diabetes. (5)
As you can see, there is a clear link between lack of adequate sleep and the failure of sugar metabolism.
And, it only took 9 days of adequate sleep for the normal metabolic rhythm to return.
7 Secrets To A Good Night Sleep
Some of my favorite methods to get a good night sleep include.
- Try and get 20-30 minutes of physical exertion during the middle of the day
- Don’t use any caffeine or other stimulants after 3 pm
- Have dim lighting in your home in the evening
- Turn off the TV and other devices at least an hour before bed
- Stop eating food at least an hour before bed, especially sugary food
- Have a relaxing Epsom salt bath, just before bed
- Meditate for 5-10 minutes as you get into bed
Herbal DETOX or SLIM Program
People often report better sleep and weight loss during the Ultimate Herbal Detox or Slim programs.
This is probably due to the removal of processed foods and chemicals from the body during the program, which helps bring a sense of peace and balance to the metabolism.
Combining the herbal programs with the above recommendations should bring great weight loss results.
1. Acute sleep loss results in tissue-specific alterations in genome-wide DNA methylation state and metabolic fuel utilization in humans. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6105229/
2. Circadian rhythm sleep disorders: pathophysiology and potential approaches to management. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11463135
3. Skeletal Muscle Insulin Resistance Is the Primary Defect in Type 2 Diabetes. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2811436/
4. Subchronic Sleep Restriction Causes Tissue-Specific Insulin Resistance. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4399283/
5. Metabolic Consequences in Humans of Prolonged Sleep Restriction Combined with Circadian Disruption. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3678519/
6. Circadian time signatures of fitness and disease. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27885004
7. Metabolic Consequences in Humans of Prolonged Sleep Restriction Combined with Circadian Disruption. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3678519/
8. Role of resting metabolic rate and energy expenditure in hunger and appetite control: a new formulation. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3424457/
9. Role of resting metabolic rate and energy expenditure in hunger and appetite control: a new formulation. PUBMED https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3424457/