At first blush, sleeping and becoming slimmer might not seem to have a connection. But the good news is, they do! We all know sleeping is good for us. It helps rest our body and brain as well as keeping us healthy. But did you know that sleeping can also help you lose weight? It’s true. But how much sleep do you need and how much weight can you lose? And if you don’t get enough sleep, what can you do to make up for it? Let’s explore how sleeping can actually make you slimmer.
There’s no magic number when it comes to sleeping. Since everyone’s schedules and sleep routines vary, it can sometimes be hard to stick to a specific number. And sometimes trying to do so can add more stress and affect your sleeping, and that’s not good! A good rule of thumb for most people is to aim for seven to eight hours of shut-eye a night. This means that you are getting enough sleep to keep you healthy, but not too much. If you try to stick as close to these numbers as you can, you’ll see some other numbers go down – the ones on the scale!
But how does sleeping help you lose weight? According to WebMD, “when you’re well-rested, you’re less hungry. Being sleep-deprived messes with the hormones in your brain — leptin and ghrelin — that control appetite.” The article goes on to say that, “With those out of balance, your resistance to the temptation of unhealthy foods goes way down. And when you’re tired, you’re less likely to want to get up and move your body.”(1) It makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? When you are sleepy, it is much more challenging to make healthy choices and to get out for a walk or do some other exercises that can help you lose weight. But what if you can’t get your seven to eight hours every night?
The slimming sleep solution for that is a power nap. In addition to getting enough sleep at night, a daily power nap can also help you lose weight. Experts recommend a power nap of about twenty to thirty minutes at the same time every day. And even though the timing on naps is shorter, it can still reap big benefits. Reader’s Digest Best Health reports that napping can “help you lose weight by altering metabolism and shifting chemicals that affect appetite.” (2) This means not only will you be well rested, but you will also be less hungry and able to make better choices. Moreover, it can also give your metabolism a boost.
So there you have it. A slimming solution that’s as easy as a good night’s sleep or an afternoon snooze, or even better, both! Try calculating how much sleep you get a night and then adjusting accordingly. Then add a power nap and see the results for yourself. Sweet dreams!
- “Surprising Reasons to Get More Sleep.” WebMD, www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/benefits-sleep-more#2. Accessed 17 June 2019.
- “19 Reasons to Take a Nap.” Readers Digest Best Health. www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/sleep/nap/. Accessed 17 June 2019.