Sleep Weight Loss

If you’re worried about hormones stopping you from losing weight.  Sleep is one of the biggest things within your control.

Most people do not understand what a huge impact sleep can have on your hormonal system.  Obviously, everyone knows sleep is kind of important, but how does it impact your hormones?

As we’ve established your stress hormones impact your ability to lose weight.  And research shows that there is a relationship between people having higher levels of cortisol (stress hormone) and belly fat.

Essentially too much stress = tougher time dropping body fat.

How Does Sleep Impact Body Fat?

Well your hormone system largely revolves around the sun (at least your stress hormones).  Don’t worry, I’ll keep it super simple.

As the sun begins to rise your body starts releasing more cortisol to get you ready to deal with the stress of the day.

It peaks at its highest levels between 9:00AM and noon.  And then cortisol slowly decreases as the day progresses and the sun sets. 

This is how your body is supposed to react. 

However, if you have a large amount of stress later in the day your body will produce more (or at any other time of the day). 

Need to know info

Your stress hormones operate based on when the sun goes up and down.  

Sun goes up……your body releases more stress hormone.  As the day goes on……your body releases less stress hormone.

How Does Sleep Impact Body Fat?

As we’ve established earlier stress causes more release.  And remember stress isn’t just mental emotional stress.  Coffee for example gets your body to release adrenaline (why it gives you energy).  This causes a release of cortisol.

Have caffeine later in the day, cortisol could get released.

Get to bed past 10:00-10:30 at night?  Guess what happens.  Usually, your body will release more cortisol.  Have you ever noticed you get a “second wind” around 11:00 at night if you stay up past that point?

If you eat a whole lot of sugar at a sitting in front of the TV late at night before bed.  Your blood sugar will drop drastically.  Which impacts your stress hormone release.

These are just two of the most common examples of things people do chronically that can disrupt cortisol.

Need to know info

Although your stress hormones operate based around the sun your lifestyle will have a huge impact on your stress hormones being released.  

Certain behaviours especially through the afternoon, evening and night will have a big impact on how much cortisol your body releases.

Prolonged Consistent Stress and it's Impact

One of the biggest things people under estimate when it comes to stress is often how much stress is on their body.  A lot of people associate stress with big life events (ie. Someone close to you dies, someone gets a life-threatening illness, etc.)

But, small amounts of stress (at least too much of it) for prolonged periods of time begins to accumulate.

Think of it like a small leak in your roof.  You put a bucket underneath of it it’s not a problem at first.  It’s not even a problem for a long time.  But, once the bucket has finally filled to the top you’re going to start having a problem.

Most people only think of stress as being a huge flood in the basement and ignore their small leak that’s overflowing the bucket. 

Often this leak has been there for years being ignored.

Need to know info

High levels of stress don’t just come from major stressors.  Small stresses on the body accumulate over time if you have too many of them and are not getting proper sleep to recover.

How Much of an Impact Can Sleep Have on Losing Weight?

Sleep is the only place where your body completely recovers from physical and mental activity throughout the day.  If you’re not getting enough quality and quantity your body has a slow leak happening.

Both the quality and quantity of sleep impacts your ability to lose belly fat. 

There have been numerous studies linking sleep (or a lack of it) to weight gain.  For example, one study followed 68,000 women for 16 years.  They grouped them into women that slept for 5 hours or less per night and women that slept for 7 hours or more. 

The women who slept less as a whole were 32% more likely to gain over 30 pounds compared to those who slept 7 hours or more per night.

Another study found a correlation between the amount of sleep someone had per night and the accumulation of both visceral fat (inside the abdominal) and subcutaneous fat (that’s fat below the skin).

Sleep is one of the lifestyle factors most often correlated in studies with obesity and being overweight.  These are just two quick examples.

Need to know info

Sleep is one of the lifestyle factors most correlated with obesity and being overweight.  Especially around belly fat.

What Can You Do to Improve Your Hormones with Sleep?

Here are the quick bullet points of what you can do.  Don't over look these just because many of them are simple.

  • At least 8 hours sleep per night
  • Quality sleep (use the exercise below to start…..there are many other tricks but it’s the best place to start)
  • Don’t drink caffeine after 1:00 PM
  • Go to sleep and wake up around the same time everyday
  • Try to get to bed by 10:30 PM at the latest (obviously if you work shift work it’s not happening)

A lot of our clients are going to bed around midnight or later and couldn’t imagine going to bed that early.  If this is the case, slowly go to bed a little bit earlier over the course of weeks.  For example, go to bed 15 minutes earlier every 1-2 weeks.

Need to know info

Try to improve your quality and quantity of sleep using the bullet points above.  

It will help you not only improve your body composition, but have you feeling a lot better too.  Also, try out the exercise below before bed every night.

How Does Sleep Impact Body Fat?

Hormones & Sleep

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