World Sleep Day 2019: Is Sleep Important for Losing Weight?
Sleep well to lose weight (Photo Credits: Pixabay)

World Sleep Day is celebrated on March 15 every year by the World Sleep Day Committee of World Sleep Society to reduce the burden of sleep problems on society. Lack of sleep can damage your overall health, and it can lead to problems like heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. But what about its effects on body weight? Have you wondered if you can sleep your way to weight loss? World Sleep Day 2019 Video: Yoga Asanas And Pranayam To Help You Sleep Like A Baby.

If you sleep less, it not only leads to weight gain, but also affects the functioning of your brain. After a sleepless night, your brain cells get tired and find it difficult to communicate with each other. Inadequate time on the bed at night makes you sluggish at work, and you might tend to become more forgetful. It even affects your concentration.

How Sleep Helps in Weight Loss

1. Sleep deprivation can increase your appetite

Inadequate sleep creates an impact on two important hunger hormones- ghrelin and leptin. The former is released in the stomach to signal hunger in the brain. While the latter is produced from fat cells which suppress and makes you feel full. Less sleep can increase the level of ghrelin and decrease the amount of leptin.

2. Sleep can help you fight the craving

Lack of sleep can affect the frontal lobe of your brain and impair its functioning. This part of the brain plays a crucial role in decision-making and self-control. After a night of less sleep, the frontal lobe gets simulated by food high in calories. This is the reason why people who sleep less at night are more likely to gorge on food, which is high in calories, carbs and fat.

3. Poor sleep may affect your metabolism

Fewer hours of sleep at night affects your Resting Metabolic Rate(RMR), which is the number of calories your body burns when at rest. RMR is affected by age, height, gender and muscle mass. Poor sleep can cause muscle loss as your muscles tissues get repaired when you take rest. Muscles burn more calories during sleep than fat does. Therefore, less muscle means a slow rate of RMR. It’s March 15 & I Am at My Work Desk, Sleep Deprived; Ironic Much?

4. Sleep prevents Insulin resistance

Depriving yourself of sleep can cause cells to become insulin resistant. Insulin is a hormone, which is responsible for moving the sugar from the bloodstream into your body's cells to create energy. When cells become insulin resistant, more sugars stay in the bloodstream, thereby leading to an increase of sugar levels in your blood. Here Are 6 Weird Ways to Help You Fall Asleep. 

For a healthy lifestyle, sleep well, exercise well and eat well. An adult should try to have a minimum of eight hours of sleep every day. If sleeping for long hours is not possible, make sure you improve the quality of sleep by following proper sleep hygiene, and getting up and going to sleep at the same time every day, not caffeinating yourself before bed and sleeping on a clean surface. Use apps that help you monitor your sleep quality on a daily basis.