Weight loss is often thought as a result to a healthy lifestyle. For many it is a target not only for health and wellbeing but also for a boost in confidence in their appearance as well. However, weight loss has another benefit that is often not as frequently talked about. Which is that weight loss can greatly impact your sleep.
Quality sleep is important for your physical and mental health and wellbeing. Which is why we think it is about time someone talks about the impact weight loss can have on your sleep! Stick around to hear all about the positive (and the potential negative) impacts that losing weight can have on your sleep. Stick around to learn all about it.
Weight Loss Can Decrease Sleep Apnea
One of the leading causes for sleep apnea and snoring is weight gain and obesity. Being overweight can greatly increase your chances of experiencing Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). This is an intense form of sleep apnea.
With OSA, typically your airways become entirely closed off as your soft palette and other soft tissues actually momentarily obstruct your ability to breath. This often keeps you from falling into a deep sleep as your body is constantly waking up just enough to take a deep breath.
Even if it does not wake you up enough for you to remember it, it can actually keep you from getting the deep and restful sleep that we all need in order to stay healthy.
When the cause of your sleep apnea is either increased by, or caused by your weight. Then it can be incredibly beneficial to lose weight. In fact, many found that when they reached a healthy weight that their snoring and sleep apnea went away entirely.
Think you might be struggling with sleep apnea? Learn more about it in our post: Sleep Apnea vs Snoring: How To Tell The Difference
Exercise Can Help You Sleep:
A healthy activity level and regular exercise can greatly increase the quality and quantity of your sleep. Even if weight loss is not your goal, regular exercise can help you to get great sleep. Or perhaps you begin to workout regularly with the main goal being weight loss, you may find that you start to get better sleep right away.
Exercise can do truly great things for your sleep. Being physically active at the same time each day can help to regulate your circadian rhythm. This is your internal clock that tells you when to sleep. It can make it easier to get to sleep quickly, as well as encourage deeper and more restful sleep overall. Making it a great added benefit to being physically active.
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Overall Increase in Comfort:
Being overweight can often cause strain on the body that can lead to lots of aches and pains. It can make it difficult to change positions as you sleep in order to get comfortable as well. While some bodies carry weight easily and comfortably, other bodies do not. Which means the comfort caused by weight loss will also vary.
If you find that you are often uncomfortable when laying down and going to sleep, or find yourself feeling excessively stiff or uncomfortable when you wake up in the morning. It could be partially caused by your weight.
When you lose weight and get to a healthy weight for your body, you will notice that there is less strain on your body. Being overweight can cause pains from joint pain, difficulty breathing, to general discomfort. One way you can get better sleep and overall comfort is to reach a healthy weight for you and your body.
Increase In Sleep Quality:
This is almost always our overarching goal here at Our Sleep Guide. We want you to be able to get your best sleep possible. Quality sleep is incredible for your physical and mental health and wellness. There is a study that tied together weight loss with sleep satiation and increase in sleep quality. This study found that there is an even more specific tie to loss in belly fat and better sleep.
There are many factors that could be contributing to this relationship between weight loss and better sleep. However, it did not seem to matter what you did to create the change in weight. Whether you focused primarily on exercise, or primarily dietary changes, or a mixture of the two.
No matter how you created the change, sleep quality went up with the change in weight. However, it is important that you talk to your doctor to find a safe and healthy way for you to manage your weight.
Common Questions Relating To Sleep & Weight Loss:
Can Sleep Help You Lose Weight?
Now to the flip side of the same coin. We know that weight loss can help you get quality sleep. However, can quality sleep help you to lose weight? It can! Getting the right amount of quality sleep every night can absolutely impact your ability to lose weight. Not getting enough sleep can throw you some curve balls on your weight loss journey.
Sleep is needed for your body to properly heal and create muscle from your workouts. Sleep is vital for recovery time so that you can heal and get back in the gym and having an active body the next day. When you get proper sleep, your body is able to build and strengthen muscle, which helps to burns fat.
We have even seen a study that followed two groups of people who were on a calorie restricted diet. One group was allowed to sleep for 5.5 hours. While the other group only got 8.5 hours of sleep. The group that slept more lost more weight than the group that slept less. Goes to show that weight loss is definitely impacted by sleep.
Can Insomnia Cause Weight Gain?
Now we know that a lack of sleep can hinder your ability to lose weight, can insomnia cause weight gain? Insomnia can range drastically from it taking a little longer than normal to get to sleep. Or it can look like extreme lack of sleep, especially when you should be sleep at night. It can even lead you to passing out during the day when you should be focusing on other things.
Insomnia can be linked to depression, medications, among many other causes. Many of which could be potentially linked to weight gain or loss. However, there is no direct correlation between insomnia and weight gain. However, if you are dealing with insomnia, weight gain, or both then we highly recommend talking to your doctor in order to seek help.
Why Do I Feel Hungry When I Stay Up Late?
When you stay up late, you are using up energy. When you are sleeping your body goes into a temporary hibernation of sorts. Instead of focusing on walking, talking, dancing, thinking, and so on. When you are sleeping your body is focused of rest and recovery.
When you are staying up late your body begins to produce something called ghrelin. This sends signals that you are hungry and in need of food. Which is why if you were sleeping, your body would not be producing ghrelin or making you wake up feeling hungry and in need of food. This is how you can sleep through the night without getting hungry, but need a meal if you are staying up late.
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How Does Poor Sleep Affect Eating Habits?
Generally speaking, a lack of sleep has some terrible affects on your eating habits. Typically when you are on a healthy sleeping schedule, you are more likely to be eating healthy also. This is partially due to the lack of drive and energy when you are lacking sleep. When you are tired and running on less sleep, you are more likely to gravitate toward easy options and quick energy meals.
This means a lot of processed foods with high sugar, fat, and carbs. While there is nothing wrong with having these as a part of your diet, quick energy foods often lead to weight gain and are low in nutrition full of vitamins, minerals, proteins that your body needs to run effectively.
This can also have a negative impact on your sleep and lead to a vicious cycle of poor sleep and poor eating. While getting good quality sleep can make it easier to make healthier food choices. This can help create a healthy cycle of better eating, which can lead to better sleep.
Learn about which foods will help or hurt your sleep in our post: Best And Worst Foods Before Bed
A Guide To Sleep & Weight Loss – Final Thoughts:
Weight loss and great sleep seem to go hand in hand. Increasing the amount and quality of your sleep tends to support and increase weight loss. While on the flip side, weight loss tends to increase the overall quality and quantity of the sleep you have. Which means once you get the ball rolling, it becomes increasingly easier to continue down the right path overtime. We hope we have brought you a number of things to consider when it comes to losing weight and how it affects your sleep.
If you have any questions, we would be happy to help you out in any way that we can. Simply send us a message through our Contact Us page and we will get back to you.