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There is a close relationship between gaining weight, losing weight, and your sleeping habits. They are all interwoven and can affect each other. Your weight loss could affect how you sleep. While how you sleep could affect your weight. Today we are going to walk you through many of the different ways that sleep and weight can affect each other, as well as what you can do in order to stay healthy.
Keep in mind that when we discuss weight loss we are looking at losing weight in order to reach a healthy BMI according to you and your body. There is such a thing as unhealthy weight loss, as well as healthy weight gain, but that is not what we are looking into today. Stick around to learn more about how your weight can affect and be affected by your sleeping habits.
There are several questions people have about how sleep and weight loss are linked. One such question is can bad sleep make it more difficult to lose those extra pounds? Yes, it actually can. Below are a few specific ways that show how your poor sleep may be working against your diet.
Your body and health rely on consistency in order to stay healthy. Having a consistent sleep schedule helps your body to know when to sleep, when to wake up, and even when to eat. If you always eat around 7pm for dinner, and head off to sleep by 9 or 10pm, your body gets used to being fed at those times and sleeping at those times.
If you then start staying awake past 10pm, you might find yourself getting hungry again. Simply by altering your sleep schedule, you are suddenly in taking more calories than normal as well. Even if your body would normally be perfectly fine waiting until breakfast when you are fast asleep, by being awake your body has determined it is time for more fuel.
Late night food choices are typically the best either. Let’s be honest, when you are staying up late, you typically aren’t going to eat a fresh salad or some veggies and hummus. It is typically fast food that happens to still be open in the wee hours of the morning. Or whatever snacks you can find hanging out in the pantry or freezer. All of this can add to weight gain.
Your resting metabolic rate (RMR) refers to the rate in which your body burns calories when at rest. For example when you are sitting at your desk working on the computer, you are still burning calories even though you are not expelling large amounts of energy.
Your RMR is a way to measure the amount of calories you burn during those times at rest. When your RMR is increased, this means it is easier for you to burn calories. When you don’t get the proper amount of sleep, this can actually slow down your RMR, which means it becomes more difficult to burn calories. This can makes it much harder to loose weight.
Did you know some foods are better for your sleep health than others? Learn more in our post: Best And Worst Foods Before Bed
As you just found out poor sleep can negatively affect your weight loss goals. Which sounds like good sleep would benefit them. But just how does this work? It might be intuitive, but maybe it isn’t. Find out just how regular rest will keep your diet on track.
Getting the proper amount of sleep your body needs each night can actually speed up your resting metabolic rate (RMR). As we mentioned previously, your RMR refers to the rate in which your body burns calories when you are at rest.
When you get the proper amount of sleep, it is easier for your body to maintain a healthy RMR, making it much easier to maintain or loose weight. While when you don’t get enough sleep your RMR can slow down making it harder not gain weight, or to lose weight.
Keep in mind that if your RMR is increasing in speed or slowing down. This does not necessarily mean you are going to lose or gain weight. It simply can make it easier or more difficult to lose weight.
By getting a healthy amount of sleep, and maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, you will be less likely to binge eat. Late night snack typically only occur for those you are up late at night. (Imagine that)
It becomes far less likely that you are going to wake up from a deep sleep to go get a snack. However, if you happen to be up late one night, you are more likely to get hungry and have another meal or a snack before you do end up going to sleep.
You are also far more likely to make healthy eating choices during the morning, and throughout the day than you are late at night. There is just something about late night snacking that doesn’t go with fruits and veggies.
Feeling recent changes in appetite, sleeping habits, and weight? You might want to check out our post: Your Thyroid And Sleep
Being overweight can greatly increases your chances of developing sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition where your soft palate or tongue block your airways as you sleep. This causes intense snoring that can disrupt sleep or wake you up.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea is an intense version in which there are moments where you stop breathing all together and your body forces you awake (even if only for a few moments) in order to gasp and start breathing again.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea not only makes it difficult to sleep, it can also increase the risk of conditions like high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease.
One of the best ways to avoid sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea is to lose weight. Even those who currently experience Sleep Apnea or Obstructive Sleep Apnea can reduce their symptoms or in some cases completely cure their Sleep Apnea entirely.
This is a huge benefit to your overall healthy as well as the quality of your sleep triggered by weight loss.
Not sure if your snoring is actually sleep apnea? Check out our post: Sleep Apnea vs Snoring: How To Tell The Difference
Typically exercise is an integral part of a weight loss journey. Depending on how and when you exercise, this could either help or potentially hinder your sleep.
There are a few things to consider whenever you are planning out your workouts, if you are wanting to ensure you have a good nights rest.
Learn more about the many benefits exercise has on sleep in our post: Exercise and Sleep: Is Exercise Good For Sleep?
Working out tend to release a lot of endorphins and adrenaline. If you are working out right before bed, this could make it difficult to fall asleep right away. This is because your body is pumped and ready to go.
Even if you are physically tired from your workout, your mind is usually pumped up and energized after a workout. Which is why we typically suggest working our several hours before you plan to go to sleep.
One the opposite side of the spectrum, early morning workouts are a great way to start your day. By waking up earlier and getting in even just 30 minutes of cardio in the morning will wake you up more than a cup of coffee. However, there is a potential downside of a morning workout schedule for you energy.
If you are waking up earlier than usual, you may find you experience more of an afternoon slump than usual. This is normal while you are adjusting to your new schedule, however it will pass in time. It can even help you fall asleep faster in the evenings because you were up earlier in the morning.
Another potential side effect of working out and weight loss, is muscle soreness. This is a natural pain that should not be concerning. Typically muscle soreness goes away in 1 to 3 days. While this sort of pain from workouts is normal it can be uncomfortable and can even make it a bit harder to go to sleep at night.
Is pain making it difficult to sleep? Click to learn the Best Sleeping Positions for Pain Relief
Typically weight loss is not a common cause for insomnia. However, sometime certain actions that are related to weight loss can contribute to insomnia and lack of sleep.
A common effect of weight loss is an overall boost in energy. If you are used to passing out at night and during the day, you may find this isn’t the case anymore and it takes some extra time to put yourself to sleep at night.
Struggling with Insomnia? Check out our post Guide To Insomnia
Like many things with good health, it can be cyclical. As one aspect of your health begins to go down hill, often it has a domino effect and can start to take down other aspects of your health with it. This can be an overwhelming place to be in or find yourself heading toward. However, we have great news. As one aspect of your health increases, it tends to have a positive effect on other parts of your health as well.
This is why good sleep and good physical health go hand in hand so often. As you sleep better, it will become easier to maintain a healthier weight. As well as whenever you are a healthy weight, eating well, and staying physically active, you tend to have much more productive and healthy sleep. Which means you can create a positive cycle for good health and great sleep.
Did you know that meditation can help keep you healthy and sleep better? Learn more in our post: Meditation for Sleep, Anxiety & Healing