Sleep is a vital component of a holistic weight loss program because numerous studies have linked poor sleep with obesity. To help you reach your weight loss goal, follow these simple sleep tips which are backed by medical studies.
Sleep for 6 to 8 Hours
Researchers from Kaiser Permanente Center for Health and Research in Portland found that adults who slept for less than 6 hours each night or for more than 9 hours were more likely to gain 11 pounds (5 kg) when compared to those who slept for 7 hours.
These sleep findings are significant given the fact that the obese adults in this study were enlisted in a comprehensive, behavioral weight loss program that involved:
* cutting 500 calories each day from their low-fat diet
* exercising for 3 hours each week
*keeping a food and exercise diary
* setting short-term goals with action plans
* attending group sessions led by nutrition and behavioral counselors for 6 months.
The researchers hypothesized that poor sleep contributed to not losing weight by affecting the levels of the hormones known as ghrelin and leptin that regulate hunger.
In addition, inadequate sleep also increases a person’s chances of feeling fatigued during the day which them makes them more likely to miss their workouts.
Therefore, improve your chances of achieving your weight loss goal by ensuring that you sleep for 7 to 8 hours each night.
Relax Before You Sleep
The above study which was study which was published in the International Journal of Obesity, also found that lower stress levels were linked to greater success at reaching weight loss goals especially if they were combined with sleeping for 6 to 8 hours.
Participants who combined getting around 8 hours of sleep each night with reducing their stress levels were found to have doubled their chances of losing weight. Those who were stressed and slept for less than 6 hours were half as likely to lose weight as their well-rested and relaxed counterparts.
The researchers postulated that the link between high stress levels and inability to lose weight could be due to chronic stress triggering hormonal changes in the body that lead to consuming calorie-dense foods as a coping behavior.
To optimize your chances of losing weight, schedule time to unwind from the stresses of the day before you sleep.
For example you can listen to soothing music or watch your favorite program on TV or read a calming book before you turn off the lights.
Develop a Regular Sleep Schedule
Researchers at Brigham Young University found that participants who combined a consistent wake-up time with going to sleep at the same time each night had a lower percentage of body fat when compared with those with irregular sleep hours.
This study which was published in the American Journal of Health Promotion also confirmed the findings of the first study mentioned in this article by linking a higher body fat to sleeping for less than 6.5 hours or for more than 8.5 hours.
To develop your own regular sleep schedule ensure that you go to bed and set you alarm clock to wake up at the same time seven days a week.
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