Can Sleep Help You Lose Weight?

Society Doesn’t Value Sleep

A huge factor that contributes to weight loss resistance is poor sleep. Don’t you wish the only thing you had to do to lose weight was just sleep more? While sleep does not directly cause weight loss it indirectly affects weight loss in some big ways. Society has conditioned us to burn the candle at both ends. We take pride in our ability to push really hard, checkboxes, and get things accomplished. However, all work, no rest mentality, is not how our body thrives.

Without Proper Sleep Your Body Can’t Recover

Most of my patients are following diet and lifestyle changes but are still staying up late and getting up early and their weight loss plateaus. Sleep is how we recuperate! When we’re sleeping, our body has to time recover from the stressors from yesterday, so when you wake up in the morning, you’re refreshed and ready for the new day.

More Sleep = Less Stress = Ability To Burn Fat

Chronic stress is detrimental to health, and sleep is one of the best ways to recover from the harmful effects of stress. When you’re short on sleep, it means your body is running on cortisol and adrenaline. The problem when you’re trying to lose weight is when your stress hormones go up, your ability to burn fat goes down. The ability to burn fat goes away when you’re short on sleep and physically/emotionally stressed out.

If you want to address your weight loss resistance, you have to sleep more. If you get nine hours of sleep a night for a week, it will change your life. Another critical piece is high stress from lack of sleep increases your cravings. You will have more blood sugar-related cravings like sugar and simple carbs. I’ve experienced with a lot of my patients their cravings drop once they start sleeping more.

Tips for the best sleep

  • Go to bed early! Sleep researchers say that one hour of sleep before 12:00 am is worth two hours after 12:00am.
  • Create a bedtime routine. No, they are not just for kids! Having a bedtime routine is essential to building healthy sleep habits.
  • Turn off all blue light 2 hours before bedtime. Turn your devices to night mode or read a book!

Get Out Of Sleep Debt

When you short yourself on rest, it’s just like going into debt. If you get 7 hours of sleep instead of 8, you are in debt for 1 hour. If you continue that for a week, you will be 7 hours “in debt.” Sleep researchers say you can only get up to 27 hours in debt. The good part about this is you don’t have to try and recover all the sleep you’ve ever lost; you have to recover from 27 hours. If you can sleep nine hours a night for one month, you will drastically change your life.

Why You’re More Tired With More Sleep

One crucial fact to note is that when you first start catching up on sleep, you are going to wake up feeling MORE tired. The simple reason behind this is NOT that you are “getting too much sleep.” What’s happening as you get more sleep, your body doesn’t have to produce as much stress hormone. Your brain realizes that more rest is possible, so it will make you feel more fatigued. If your body responds this way, you can be confident that you are reaping benefits.

Here’s To A Better Life,

Dr. Steve Puckette