Weight Loss Tips: Sleep and Fat Loss
According to much recent research the average amount of sleep North American’s get is down significantly with men aged 30-44 being the worst offenders.
The price you pay for lack of sleep is more than a loss of productivity at work, it can negatively effect your health in more ways than you may have guessed.
So how is this possible and how does lack of sleep affect our weight loss efforts? Let’s look at some of the important basics…
Sleep and Fat Loss – Immune System
Everyday we are exposed to a large number of different pathogens and viruses and sleep is critical in keeping our immune system in check. The reason for this is because during sleep our body is creating and preparing T cells which help us fight infections throughout the day.
Without proper sleep our chances of fighting these bacteria & viruses is severely compromised and in this case our body is too busy trying to defend itself. So how can this be connected with fat loss?
The answer is simple. If our body is overwhelmed and trying to defend itself it loses focus in maintaining a proper metabolic state. As a result, our body will store calories to help us fight these infections, because after all this defense mechanism to require a large amount of energy.
Couple that with not getting into the gym or doing our regular exercise routine and we have now stepped backwards in our training goals.
Sleep and Fat Loss – Human Growth Hormone
Another hormone that is largely produced during our deep sleep cycle is the human growth hormone (aka hGH). This hormone is extremely complex and many of it’s functions are still trying to be figured out but the science definitely backs up it’s importance when it comes to our overall health.
Recent research with those who are hGH deficient has shown that supplementation allows these people to have increased muscle mass, decreased body fat, increase bone density, improved skin texture and tone, better energy levels as well as improved immune system function and sexual function!
In fact, the international Olympic committee has banned hGH because of it role as an anabolic (muscle producing) agent for adults.
So do you see what I mean now by not getting enough sleep largely affecting our results with fat loss and muscle production?!
P.S. If you want to supplement with a hGH supporting supplement try AI Sports Nutrition HGH Pro
Sleep and Fat Loss – Quality over Quantity
So how much sleep do we really need? The research on this topic is not only superfluous but very controversial. People’s bodies differ along with age and hormone levels so I think the best bet is to count on the quality of your sleep having you feel well rested the next day.
If you’re feeling tired after 10 hours of sleep you need to factor in how many times you got up in middle of the night and think about ways to improve your deep sleep. If you’re drinking too much water or caffeine beforehand then try reducing the amount of these substances. Of course, stress also plays a major factor. What can you do the few hours before sleep to reduce your stress levels and disassociate yourself from work and family pressures?
Sleep and Fat Loss – Natural Sleep Supplements?
What about natural sleep supplements? From my research one of the best natural sleep supplement is definitely melatonin and zinc/magnesium, which help reduce anxiety and allows for deeper sleep. It’s best to use on nights when you’ve tried everything else and had no luck falling asleep.
One of the best products on the market has a pretty impressive list of natural ingredients, (including magnesium, melatonin, and Magnolia) here is the link: Fusion Bodybuilding Sleeping-Giant. If you are not a fan of melatonin then I would highly recommend Muscle Pharm Bullet Proof or NOW ZMA which both have had excellent reviews.
Weight Loss Tips: Sleep and Fat Loss Conclusion
If you’re noticing you aren’t getting the best results from your healthy diet and workout plans then sleep is most likely the major factor keeping you back.
Don’t stress out about sleep, that is definitely the worst thing you can do, and we are all guilty of it. The best idea is to keep a natural sleep cycle even on the weekends and watch how different stress factors and foods/liquids affect your nightly sleep.
Sleep is a big topic so I will follow up this article in the near future with the most successful methods to guarantee a good nights sleep, but for now you should definitely keep the notes above in mind.
Are you having troubles sleeping? Please leave a comment below, especially if you have found ways to improve your sleep!
Thanks for this great article Sam! A good reminder on how important sleep is. Any suggestions on best way to get up in the morning?
Hi Jessica, you bet, great article on how to wake up early – http://wlat.us/cUIU7S