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Does sleeping make you lose weight?  

 

What is sleep  ?

 

Definition of Larousse  : "Periodic physiological state of the organism (in particular of the nervous system) during which vigilance is suspended and reactivity to stimulation is reduced."

 

  • What are the different phases of sleep  ?

 

Sleep has several cycles. Each cycle consists of 5 phases  :

  • Drowsiness / Sleeping: is the stage of falling asleep, it is a transition between wakefulness and sleep

  • Light sleep: is the sleep that occupies 50  % of total sleep time

  • Deep sleep  : lasts about 1h40 minutes during an average night's sleep - this is the most important phase because it is a phase of physical recovery. The muscles receive a large amount of oxygen and nutrients for minimal expenditure.

This sleep promotes the restoration of the body's metabolic reserves, regulates the temperature of our body, controls growth and our hormonal secretions and strengthens our immune defenses.

  • Very deep sleep 

  • Paradoxical sleep  : Corresponds to 20-25% of total sleep time - a period suitable for dreams and nightmares (although we can also have them during slow sleep).

 

  • Why is it important to sleep  ?

 

Several reasons explain the need to sleep  :

  • 1st reason  : Sleep more

Several studies have been done regarding sleep and weight loss. Each study comes to the same conclusion  : people who sleep little eat more.

How to explain this phenomenon  ?

Scientists explain link between sleep and hormones responsible for regulating appetite  : including leptin (hormone of satiety) and ghrelin (hormone of hunger).

Indeed, during a short sleep, ghrelin is stimulated (therefore increased food intake during the day), and leptin is inhibited (therefore reduced feeling of satiety).

Sleep and hunger hormones could therefore be one of the factors causing overweight problems. When we don't sleep enough  , the brain area that assesses satiety is out of control and that that assesses irrational cravings is encouraged.

 

 

  • 2nd reason  : Stress - Avoid  !

When we sleep little, we are more stressed, so we eat more, leading to weight gain. It's a vicious circle  : the more we eat the more we are stressed the more we sleep badly, therefore we eat more  and it continues…

 

  • 3rd reason  : No to caloric foods

When we are sleep deprived, we also tend to  turn to high-calorie foods  : we are tired and we think that to reboost ourselves  , we need these foods.

 

  • 4th reason  : while sleeping, we burn fat

During deep, restful sleep  , our body goes through changes similar to those that happen when we exercise  ; an action that helps burn fat  ; because it increases the production of growth hormone.

 

 

  • Some tips

 

Ideally get 8 hours of sleep - it is important to get a minimum of 7 hours sleep up to 10 hours per night

 

Try to sleep at the same times: this will make it easier for you to fall asleep and keep you from the slow, deep sleep phase - this is also the phase when resistance to fat storage is best.  .

 

 

Before sleeping, avoid meals that are too high in sugars

 

On a daily basis, eat a healthy diet, eat your portion of 5 fruits and vegetables

 

Do not stay in bed all day, do some physical activity

 

Don't deprive yourself of sleep but listen to yourself

 

Don't try to pounce on treats thinking they might boost you back  ; but rather take a little nap to give yourself energy and at the same time, boost your memory and strengthen your immune system.

 

 

And especially  … Don't be stressed (or try to relax with sport for example) to get a good night's sleep

 

 

To summarize, if you want to lose weight or even control your weight, take your nights and a nap if necessary, but combine your sleep with good food hygiene and sporting activity: 

So sleeping well to lose weight is already a good start  !