Sleep and fat are intimately linked, according to numerous studies.
Not only does too much fat affect the quality of your sleep but lack of sleep and poor quality sleep can make you even fatter.
Studies also show that good quality sleep may even help you to shed fat more effectively.
Sleep & Your Genes
A study, by the University of Washington [i] shows that more sleep could help you slim down by reducing how much control your genes have on your weight.
Published in the journal Sleep, the study looked at the sleep patterns and body mass index (BMI) of over 1,000 twins.
It found that people who slept less than seven hours a night had a higher BMI than those who slept more than nine hours.
Body weight is shaped by many factors both genetic and environmental.
The study found sleeping more than nine hours a night, though, can reduce the influence of your genes on your weight.
That means environmental factors that you can control, like diet and exercise, may have a bigger impact on your weight.
Short sleep was associated with elevated body mass index.
How Sleep Controls Your Fat
Sleep is like food for the brain and if you don’t get enough your brain will crave the food elsewhere.
In a study by the University of Chicago, sleep-deprived participants chose snacks with twice as much fat as those who slept at least eight hours
Sleeping can also prompt us to eat bigger portions of all foods, increasing weight gain.
Losing Weight Improves Sleep
Losing weight may also help the quality of your sleep.
In a study by Johns Hopkins University researchers found improvement in sleep quality was significantly associated with overall weight loss, especially belly fat.
Over a six-month period, 55 overweight or obese study participants with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes took part in either dieting to achieve weight loss, or diet and exercise.
They also responded to a survey on sleep habits and behaviours, both prior to and following the study.
Participants in both groups reduced their belly fat percentage by around 15 per cent, and lost an average 6.8kg.
Additionally, both groups self-reported improved sleep quality of around 20 per cent by the study’s conclusion.
Get Expert Help
Check with your doctor before increasing the intensity or nature of your workouts.
If you have sleeping issues, like snoring or sleep apnoea, speak to your doctor to have this treated.
Once you have clearance, talk to your Urban Fitness Solutions trainer about exercises, dietary changes and a lifestyle prescription that might help with your health and sleep.
At Urban Fitness Solutions we promote a holistic approach to your nutrition, emotional well-being and physical health to ensure you enjoy the quality of life you deserve. Contact us today.