Like many things in life, losing weight is rarely easy. Not only can it be difficult to get yourself into a good workout routine, but at times it can even be difficult to get to the bottom of what is actually healthy and what is simply processed food that is ‘pretending’ to be healthy.
While it is often not considered, your sleep cycle can be another little known factor that can influence how effectively you are able to lose weight. A study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that there was a strong association between sleep cycles and hunger levels.
The study monitored a group of young adult males for 11 days and divided the men into two groups. One group slept for just four hours per day, while the other group slept for six hours per day. Both groups were fed standard meals and snacks, however the men were not able to eat whenever they pleased.
Overall, the study found that the men who had less sleep reported feeling hungrier and less satisfied after eating snacks and meals. The study concluded that sleep pays a vital role in helping adults to eat regular portions and when deprived of sleep, the body tends to want to eat more food, more frequently.
While this may seem unusual, when you consider the fact that ancient humans operated based on the sun (waking up with the sun and going to sleep with the sun) it makes sense that our bodies get fairly out of whack when we deviate too far for this rhythm.
The study also showed that our brains are perhaps more connected to our stomachs than we like to think because being sleep deprived confuses our nervous system, in turn making it harder for your bodies to properly gauge our energy levels, blood sugar and leptin levels.
So the moral of the story? If you’re serious about losing weight then prioritising your sleep could be the secret to helping you to stick to your eating plan and feel more satisfied after meals.