Sleep more to burn more

Sleep more to burn more

by Pamela Ng 28 Feb 2020

Sleep is crucial for both the body and mind, but do you know that having adequate sleep can also make you a better fat-burning machine? If you have been training hard and eating smart to lose that few extra centimetres off your waist but to no avail, it may be due to your lack of quality sleep. 


Lack of quality sleep can increase your appetite


Sleep can affect the production of hormones, and these include noteworthy ones such as ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin signals hunger, while leptin signals satiety. When one is sleep deprived, ghrelin increases while leptin decreases. As a result, you will be more prone to feeling hungry which can cause you to overeat and gain weight.


Less effective workouts with less sleep


Carrying more muscle mass increases your basal metabolic rate. Unfortunately, sleep deprivation can decrease your muscles mass due to the catabolic effects of chronically elevated cortisol, which results in less fat being converted into energy. As a result, the process of building muscle becomes less efficient and with that, your workouts will become less effective. It is a vicious cycle of losing muscle mass, fatigue and fruitless training sessions – the only way to stop it is by getting enough quality sleep.


Better sleep means better function


Everyone needs different amounts of sleep; some get by on six hours while others do better with 10. If you aren’t sure about your own body clock and circadian rhythm, then use this as a guideline: get an average of between seven and nine hours of sleep. This recommendation is a joint consensus between the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society. Having this amount of sleep can help you to function optimally and allow you to work both your mind and body more effectively. If you’re sluggish the next day and end up not moving around much, you’d probably wind up looking just as you feel.


While many people may say that societal pressures hinder them from having adequate sleep, it mostly boils down to the willingness to change your lifestyle to complement and develop better sleeping habits. If you are someone who works long hours simply to make a living, it is understandable that you may not get enough sleep. But for those who spend so many waking hours on games and social media, it is important to realise that sleep should be regarded as a higher priority. Switch up your lifestyle to ensure that you can get sufficient high-quality sleep, and you will see a huge change in your life.