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The Role of Sleep in Health and Weight Loss

We all know that getting a good night’s rest makes you feel better. Turns out, it can also make you healthier! Many studies show that your sleep patterns are linked to your stress levels, calorie intake, and even the foods you crave. Here’s a primer on the connection between getting your “zzz’s” and a successful health journey.

Lack of Sleep Affects Hunger Hormones

Ghrelin and leptin are two hormones that affect your appetite and hunger. Lack of sleep impacts how these hormones work in the body. As a result, after a short night of rest or fitful sleep, you will feel hungrier — and likely eat more.

Fatigue Leads to Less Exercise

Many people find exercise tough as it is. When you’re tired, moving is even harder. A good night’s sleep is essential for you to feel awake and energized enough to keep up with your exercise routine. Less exercise often leads to weight gain.

Tired Brain Seeks Reward Foods

When you are sleepy, your brain wants comfort food. Even if your better judgment tells you to avoid the high-carbohydrate, high-sugar meals, your fatigue kicks in and makes it hard to say no. A well-rested brain is better able to make conscious, healthy choices about eating.

Short Sleep Periods May Lead to Insulin Resistance

After too many nights with poor sleep, your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels goes down. Some studies have linked short sleep duration to insulin resistance and obesity. For some people, this can lead to type 2 diabetes or other health conditions.

Sleepy Body Hangs on to Fat

Your body needs sleep. When it doesn’t get enough, certain mechanisms kick in. Too little rest leads to a release of cortisol, a stress hormone. It tells your body to conserve energy, which it does by hanging on to fat.

In one study, people who had reduced sleep over a two-week period had less successful weight loss. The amount of weight lost in fat declined by 55 percent, even though their calorie consumption stayed the same.

What’s the Ideal?

Although many experts recommend 6 to 8 hours of sleep per night, the ideal amount depends on the person. The task is to find the best routine for you and your overall health. You can also reach out for expert advice and assistance.

Bee Healthy Clinics is standing by to be your health partners. Reach out when you are ready to find that healthier you.

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