How a lack of sleep is directly related to obesity

It always seems easier to look for the latest pill, diet, or training program, but what if the key to you burning fat is something as simple as sleep? There are 3 reasons why getting more sleep will increase fat burn for you.

1. Decreased cortisol levels

Cortisol is your body’s fight or flight mechanism. Whenever your senses feel that there is an immediate threat or danger, your cortisol levels increase. Studies have shown that when your body is low on sleep, your cortisol levels increase. A study by the Laboratory of Physiology in Belgium found that people who were short on sleep noticed higher cortisol levels in the afternoon and evening, compared to those who had adequate sleep. Cortisol is known to increase appetite and cause excessive fat storage. Not something you want.

2. Decreased hunger hormones

There are two hunger hormones that you need to know about: Ghrelin and Leptin. Think of them as yin and yang – grehlin is responsible for making you feel hungry, and leptin is the opposite, which is making you feel full. When you’re sleep-deprived, your body produces more grehlin, thus increasing your appetite for food. On the other hand, if you’re well rested, the two of these are in balance and your appetite is in control.

3. Increased Energy for Training

Anyone who’s had a good nights rest will have much more energy to tackle the workouts in the gym. This leads to more muscle growth, higher metabolism and consequently more fat burned. In addition, when you’re sleeping, your body is able to recover from workouts earlier that day. By only getting a few hours of sleep in, your workout suffers as well as your motivation.

What is the recommended number of hours for sleep

7-8 hours is the recommended amount of sleep each night. If you had a big workout session that day, it’ll be even more important for you to get in the sleeping time to recover.


Nicole Clark

Nicole Clark is a U.S. trained and licensed physiotherapist who became interested in physiotherapy through her experience as a competitive swimmer and runner. Nicole earned her Master of Science in Physiotherapy from Springfield College in 2003, graduating with honors. Her thesis was accepted to the Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association in 2004. Nicole has sought post-graduate clinical education in such topics as trigger point dry needling, advanced treatment of the foot and ankle, orthotic fitting, corrective exercise, and joint mobilization.

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