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Getting enough sleep is important if you want to lose weight. It brings a lot of benefits that can help you on your weight loss journey – and the good thing about sleep is that you do it every day! For free! Here are some of the benefits keeping on top of your sleep can bring you, and why it’s so important for you to catch those Z’s – one for each hour you need.

1. It Helps with Your Appetite

Not getting enough sleep can leave you tired, sluggish, and unenergized. To compensate for this lack of energy caused by sleep deprivation, your body increases production of ghrelin (the chemical that makes you feel hungry) and decreases production of leptin (the chemical that makes you feel full), which can cause you to overeat and put your daily caloric program at risk! In addition to hunger, lack of sleep can give you cravings for foods rich in sugar and fats due to their high caloric values in order to get the energy your body needs.

2. It Helps with Your Brain

Not getting enough sleep can tank your brain function! Important cognitive factors like productivity, memory, motivation, and performance are all negatively affected by sleep deprivation! And when you’re tired, you’re not at your best – and when you’re not at your best, it’s easier to make mistakes and deviate from your weight loss journey. A 2020 study on overworked physicians found that those suffering from sleep deprivation were between 54-97% more likely to make a clinically significant medical error, depending on how little sleep they were getting.

3. It Helps with your Exercise

Getting enough sleep can improve your exercise and make the time you spend walking or at the gym more effective; reaction time, muscular power, fine motor skills, recovery time, and muscular endurance all experience positive increases with adequate sleep! It also helps with motivation, which suffers the less sleep you get.

4. It Affects your Emotions

Not getting enough sleep can negatively impact your mental health! 90% of people with depression have issues with sleep deprivation, and insomnia increases one’s risk of developing depression. Lack of sleep also impairs your brain’s ability to regulate and control emotions, leading to grumpiness, irritability, and lashing out at people.

5. It Boosts your Immune System

When you get less sleep, your body’s ability to fight off infections suffers. Even small amounts of sleep deprivation reduce your body’s immune response, and slows your body’s production of T cell cytokines. (T cells are one of your body’s immune cells, and the cytokines they produce send signals to other nearby immune cells)

6. It Helps with Inflammation

It’s not important just to get enough sleep – it’s important to establish consistent sleeping habits as well! A 2019 study found that people who had inconsistent sleeping patterns had higher levels of inflammation, especially in women. Setting up consistent, quality sleeping habits like going to bed and waking up at the same time each night will help with this, and that includes on the weekends!

7. It’s Good for your Heart

Getting enough sleep also has many benefits for your cardiovascular health. One study found that people who sleep less than 5 hours a day have a 61% higher chance of high blood pressure or hypertension, and another study found a relationship between sleep deprivation and heart disease! Getting too much sleep was also found to heighten the risk of hypertension, highlighting the importance of balance – snoozing all day is bad for you, just as staying up all night is!

8. It Helps with Blood Sugar

Not getting enough sleep hurts your body’s ability to regulate its blood sugar and absorb insulin, as one study found a correlation between insufficient sleep and insulin resistance (when your body has trouble using the insulin it produces). Another study found that regularly sleeping under 5 hours increased your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 48% and sleeping under 6 hours increased your risk by 18%. See how much of a difference just one hour of sleep can make?

In addition to diet and exercise, sleeping is one of the most important (and consistent) things you’ll be doing on your weight loss journey, and making sure you’re incorporating healthy sleeping habits into your life will make that journey quicker, easier, and happier. Catch those Z’s and…

Change the road for you!

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