So your resolutions are going well thus far. You’re really trying to watch what you eat, and you’re making exercise part of your routine. These are undoubtedly good changes, but you might not be getting the most out of your efforts unless you’re also prioritizing sleep.
Some people figure they’ll just stay up later than usual so they can find time to prep meals in advance, or fit in a workout routine. Not a great idea. Sleep is just as important to weight loss as diet and exercise. Here’s why…
Sleep Actually Burns Calories
Don’t think of sleep as passive time. While your body might be resting physically, there are still dozens of processes at work that burn calories as you sleep. The average person can expect to burn over 65 calories per hour, just by lying there. This means that eight solid hours of restful sleep will easily torch over 500 calories.
What’s more, a well-rested body will continue to burn more calories throughout the day than a sleep-deprived one – some studies suggest you could expend up to 20% more calories after meals!
Sleep Burns Fat Too
A sleep-deprived body goes into a sort of “crisis mode” when it is continually stressed in this way. A body that is overtired will hang onto its fat reserves for dear life, because this is where the most energy is stored.
In other words, if two people are on the exact same eating plan, but one isn’t getting adequate sleep, they won’t lose as much fat as their well-rested counterpart. Fat loss is typically one of the main goals of a healthy lifestyle, and you can boost your performance just by hitting the hay on time.
You Will Shop Smarter
How does that saying go…? “Never shop hungry.” The same applies to shopping while exhausted. When your body is fighting to stay awake, it’s on the hunt for quick, cheap energy shots like refined sugars, processed carbs, and caffeine. Despite your best intentions, you might come out of the grocery store with a cart full of junk food, simply because your body was screaming out for a quick fix.
Sleep Decreases Snacking
You can’t raid the pantry at midnight if you’re asleep. The more time you devote to sleep, the less time you allow yourself to get bored or tired. Boredom and exhaustion are two of the main causes of mindless snacking, both at bedtime, and throughout the day.
Here’s What Might be Affecting Your Sleep
You probably already know you shouldn’t stare at a screen before bed, but are you also aware of the negative effects of room temperature and noise level on sleep patterns? Something as simple as a snoring partner might be stalling your weight loss if it’s affecting your sleep.
Turn off your devices and TVs, make sure you have enough blankets to keep warm, but not overheated, and maybe drop a subtle hint to your partner that they might want to look into some natural snoring remedies like this one from Bauer Nutrition. Your weight loss will be much easier to achieve when you’re rested!