Sleep More for Fat Loss
Written by Bryce Smith
In the world of fitness, everyone wants to know what to eat, and what to do in order to reach their goals. Let’s face it, the majority of people in the fitness world are interested in one thing, losing weight and looking good. Okay, maybe two things haha.
A recent topic of discussion amongst our members has been, “Did you see that article that said that not sleeping can lead to weight gain?” Let’s summarize this concept in a few points.
1) When you do not sleep, you are low on energy and when you are low on energy, your body begins looking for glucose (aka sugar) for energy to help you through the grueling tasks during your day. In order to get more glucose, you must eat more glucose, or your body will make it via gluconeogenesis. Gluconeogenesis is where the body will generate glucose from certain non-carbohydrate carbon substrates, usually protein, fat, or muscle, in search of glucose to produce energy.
2) In addition to searching for energy, your cortisol (stress hormone) is often high when striving to function on little sleep. Excess cortisol directly contributes to excess belly fat.
3) As a result, your body is looking to boost insulin to help bring down cortisol since the two oppose each other. As we all may know by now, sugar of course boosts insulin.
So make sure you are getting at least eight hours of sleep each night to help mitigate enhanced glucose craving to help counteract spikes in cortisol. Keep cortisol levels regulated by sleeping and striving to live a low stress life. Some tips to help enhance your sleep are to get black out curtains, take magnesium in the evenings to help relax you (or check out Coach Calvin’s sleep supplement protocol), keep blue light out of the bedroom, and strive to have some quiet time where you are not worrying about that whole thing called life. Here’s an entire article on how to create your own Bedroom Oasis. And if you want to track your sleep quality from night to night to see how different variables affect it, check out Coach Michele’s article on How to Start Your Own Sleep Lab. You may be surprised at how much this can help with your body composition goals.
Orfeu Buxton, Dr., and Janet Mullington, Dr. “Sleep and Disease Risk.” Healthy Sleep. Division Of Sleep and Medicine at Harvard Medical School, 4 Mar. 2016. Web. 1 Oct. 2007.