Want to lose a few extra pounds? It could be time to get a little extra shuteye. As well as eating right and exercising sufficiently, studies have shown time and again that it is the quality of our sleep that can affect the amount of weight we lose over a period of time. While it’s normal to get a little less sleep from time to time, prolonged periods of insomnia could be the reason that many of us are piling on the extra pounds and if we really want to lead a healthier lifestyle, it could be up to us to make good sleep a priority.
But why exactly is sleep so essential to weight loss? It could all be down to hormones. As we sleep, our body’s organs “reset” themselves, recovering from the day’s wear and tear. At the same time, our hormones go through a similar process, resting from the stresses of everyday life. Studies have shown, in fact, that hormones cannot work properly if we don’t get adequate rest. The more burned out and tired we become, then, the less efficiently our hormones can regulate our body and the more weight we are likely to gain.
There’s more to sleep than just resetting the body, too. Not getting enough sleep can cause cortisol levels in the brain to stay elevated, making your body store more fat over a period of time, despite the healthy lifestyle you might be leading to counteract it. Keeping things sufficiently balanced is essential not only to your brain’s health but also, the way that it helps to run the rest of the body.
Getting between 7 and 8 hours of sleep per night should be sufficient to keep your body running on track and your hormones functioning sufficiently. The better rested you feel, the higher your energy levels are more likely to be, too! If you suffer from insomnia, then taking natural supplements like passionflower or chamomile can significantly help to lower your body’s levels of anxiety and stress and make falling asleep at the end of the day much more easy. Good sleep is about so much more than being productive the following day and in order to ensure your body stays in the best possible shape, it pays to make hitting the pillow a priority.