Iowa Sleep Blog

Want to Lose Weight? Sleep More.

Monday, January 04, 2016

Who knew, right? If your New Year’s resolution is get back into shape and maybe lose a few of those extra pounds in the process, the simple act of sleeping more can help aid in your weight loss and fitness journey. Sleep does more than just energize you for the day – it also does a multitude of other things, like:

  • Allows muscles to repair themselves – When you sleep, the body is busy repairing itself, especially your muscles, after you’ve maxed out at the gym. When you push your muscles to the point of exhaustion, tiny tears form in those muscles that allow it to get larger and stronger than before.
  • Increased energy – When you sleep, your body is recharging itself. If you’re not getting enough sleep at night, this is why you might be feeling sluggish by midday. When you sleep well, you’ll feel energized, ready to smash your workout, and have increased energy throughout the day.
  • Improved appetite – There’s a reason why your college-self loved binging on junk food during finals week. When you’re sleep deprived, your body secrets more ghrelin, which signals your body it’s time to eat, and less leptin, which tells your brain you’re full.
  • Burn more calories – You may think you’re burning more calories when you’re awake and moving around, that it’s actually the opposite. While you’re sleeping, the body is a calorie-burning machine. A study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered that normal sleepers burned five percent more calories than their sleep deprived counterparts.
  • Strong immune system – There is nothing worse than trying to hit that next mile on the treadmill or make it through a fitness class than doing it with a stuffy nose or a scratchy throat. When you’re deprived of sleep, your body is vulnerable to catching a cold or the flu. In the winter months, make sure you’re getting enough sleep and vitamin C to help keep your immune system as strong as possible.

Sleep is extremely important to any training regimen. Whether you’re preparing for a marathon or just want to be more active in your everyday life, be sure to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night to help your body repair itself from your last work out and fuel up for the next one. For more advice about changes you can make to sleep well, contact us at 885-346-8899 to set up an appointment with one of our sleep doctors to learn more or send us a question through our online form.