Looking to lose weight? Started to adapt your nutritional routine? Given up sugar and convenience foods in favour of eating more vegetables, lean protein and nutrient dense carbohydrates? Hitting the gym more consistently and trying to move as much as possible throughout the day?

What you may not realise however is that getting sufficient quality sleep does infact plays a very important role when it comes to weight loss.  

The length of and the quality of your sleep has a direct impact on your weight loss; those who spend longer periods of time actively trying to lose weight are often those who simply don’t take adequate rest. A lack of sleep causes your body to produce hunger-creative hormones leptin and ghrelin in much greater quantities. The result, you’re more susceptible to overeating with a greatly reduced satiety rate.

People who regularly clock in less than six hours of quality sleep per night have been known to show glucose and insulin characteristics similar to that of people with diabetes. Even if otherwise very healthy, a deprivation in sleep reduces your cells ability to use insulin as efficiently. Consequently, the more resistance your body creates the more your body will produce in the hope to encourage its take up.

It’s a known fact that not getting enough sleep has a direct impact on stress levels and stress hormones. A sleep-deprived body will produce more of the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol in turn triggers the reward centre in the brain which consequently has a knock on effect and stimulates the body’s cravings for food. An increase in both cortisol and ghrelin mean that your body is far more likely to intake higher quantities of food before it feels satisfied.

Sleep has a direct impact on your alertness and decision-making processes; similarly exhaustion is infact proven to impact your mental cognition and your judgment. With that in mind, making better food choices and avoiding the mid-afternoon sugar cravings can be managed better simply by monitoring and seeking to improve your quality of sleep.

Inadequate rest can also fundamentally impact your output in the gym. Allowing adequate recovery provides your body with time to fully recover and repair. During restful periods your body will produce an increased amount of growth hormone which in turn encourages fat loss and muscle development. A lack of sleep, rest and recovery is more than likely to hinder your output in the gym itself and the quality of your sessions.

Establishing a regular and consistent sleeping routine isn’t always easy. Throw work, stress, family and social time in the mix and we understand that sleep more often than not gets thrown on the backburner. The reality; if you really want to see those extra results, nail every single workout and feel like you’ve got the energy to go alongside, you really need to make your shut eye more than a priority.

Adam Williams
This is Fitness

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