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Sleep Your Way Slim Tonight

2 MIN READ • 11th April 2016

Want to whittle your waistline? Getting enough rest is just as important as regular exercise when it comes to shifting the lbs. Here, we look at how drifting into a deep slumber can aid your weightloss goals...

Sleeping your way to a slender physique might sound like a dieters dream, but as strange as it seems, medical evidence suggests that a good night’s sleep is essential if you want to melt away excess fat. This is because your hormones are effected by sleep patterns and this, in turn, effects appetite and wellbeing.

If you’ve ever suffered a sleepless night followed by a day where your energy levels are low, and nothing you eat seems to hit the spot, then you’ll know what we’re talking about! Leptin and grehlin are the main culprits. The levels of these key hormones are effected by how much sleep you get. A bad night’s sleep causes leptin levels to drop, which means you’ll still feel hungry after eating. It also increases the production of grehlin, which stimulates the appetite, leaving you with a serious case of the munchies the following day. This imbalance in hormone levels upsets your metabolism, leading to over-eating and steady weight gain.

Snooze your way slim

Tests have shown that those who sleep less than eight hours a night have more body fat than those who get their full quota of rest. But, the quality of sleep matters just as much as the quantity. For example, someone with sleep apnea, a condition that causes sufferers to stop breathing for up to a minute during sleep, could think they’re having a great night’s rest when in fact they’re constantly disrupted. This will still affect their hormone levels and leave them feeling drained the next day and more likely to reach for the biscuit tin. When we’re tired we’re more likely to crave sugary snacks and stodgy carbohydrates to keep us going, and because our energy levels are low, we’re less motivated to work out and burn off those extra calories.


Balance it out

So, should we be swapping our gym kit for a new mattress and sleeping our way to diet success? Not just yet! Experts agree that it’s a combination of good sleep and exercise that results in weight loss. Dieters should aim to get eight hours of quality snoozing in each night and combine this with an exercise plan and sensible eating.

This may be a welcome revelation for those who have no problem dropping off, but what if you struggle to get to sleep, or you’re constantly waking up throughout the night?

Luckily, there are things you can do to improve the quality and quantity of the sleep you’re getting. Try treating bedtime as you would a workout, and create a ‘sleep regime’ that you follow every night. Think of it like exercise; it should be regular, steady and an important part of your every day routine.

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