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Why is good sleep so important for weight loss?

A positive correlation has been found between good sleep and healthy body weight. Restricted sleep and poor sleep quality may lead to weight gain, an increased risk of obesity and other chronic health conditions.

Sleep-deprived people are more likely to overeat. Sleep deprivation could affect the hormones ghrelin, leptin, and adiponectin, which help regulate appetite

Lack of sleep can make you crave unhealthy foods. Studies found that sleep-deprived people craved higher-calorie, less nutrient-dense foods like potato chips more than the well-rested people — regardless of how hungry they actually were.

Sleep can change your appetite levels through insulin regulation. Sleep deprivation affects the way your body responds to insulin and promote insulin resistance, so your body becomes less sensitive to insulin, making it less efficient in moving glucose from blood into the cells of the body.

Sleep-deprived people can struggle with managing their diet. For most people, mindful eating strategies are an important part of maintaining a moderate weight. Lack of sleep may lead you to struggle with energy deficiency and make less-nutritious choices.

Sleep deprivation can affect your athletic performance by tanking your endurance. It seems that sleep and activity rely on each other to help you function at your peak. Sleep likely plays a big role in post-exercise recovery too. 

How can we fix our sleep schedule?

Sleep, diet, and activity are all connected. If you think you might be sleep-deprived, following basic sleep hygiene can make a huge difference:

  • Get up at around the same time each day so your body can get into a rhythm.
  • Try to avoid getting into bed until you’re ready to sleep at night.
  • Turn off phones, tablets, and computers at least an hour before bed.
  • Create a simple bedtime routine to signal to your body that it’s time to sleep.
  • Avoid heavy meals close to bedtime.
  • Exercise, but not right before bedtime.
  • If you have racing thoughts, get up and write them down, and then do something relaxing to distract your mind while your body’s fatigue takes over.

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