Sleep more to lose weight?
You don't have to tell me twice.
According to recent findings published in the Public Library of Science, those who got less sleep had higher BMIs, higher waist circumferences, and poorer metabolic health.
When you don't get enough sleep, your brain is literally too tired to make good decisions. Lack of sleep dulls the brain activity in your frontal lobe (the decision making part of your brain). Your mental clarity goes out the window, causing you to choose a donut over a piece of fruit, or a sugary latte over black coffee for your caffeine fix.
On top of that, your brain's reward center becomes less controllable than those who get a solid night's sleep (making the latte that much harder to resist). You'll crave high-carb snacks and comfort food, and the couch will be much more tempting than the gym.
Even the most determined and motivated dieter will be more inclined to pick sugary snacks when sleep-deprived. That's because if your brain doesn't get sufficient rest, it will produce more ghrelin. Ghrelin is a hunger hormone that tells your brain when it's time to eat. In other words, less sleep means you'll feel the need to eat more often.
Oh and another thing: If you're tired-- your body CRAVES energy. So any food you do eat, rather than burn the calories, your brain is going to tell your body to hang on to the food as fat.
Now, what's the magic number of hours you need to sleep to stay healthy?
Researches concluded that while it depends on the individual, 7 to 9 hours of sleep is the best for most adults.
So while a healthy diet and regular exercise is important, we can't forget to include sleep in the weight loss conversation.
Sleep, eat healthy, work out, repeat. Your brain (and waist line) will repay you.