Weight Loss

4 Reasons Why Sleep Is Essential For Weight Loss

The traditional wisdom is that too much sleep is bad for health and particularly so for weight loss. This idea is not entirely baseless, as too much sleep could indeed be bad for your health in many ways including excess weight gain, but there is significant research that shows that adequate sleep is actually essential for gaining and maintaining the optimum body shape and fitness.

While researchers differ slightly on just how much sleep is right, and of course people in general are different, there is agreement is that most humans beings require between seven and eight hours of sleep. A weight loss plan will probably be much less effective than it should be if adequate sleep is not properly taken into account for the following reasons:

You Need  Sleep For Exercise Recovery


After exercise, everyone (unless you’re really superman in disguise) gets tired and sleepy. This is because you have expended energy and incurred some wear and tear to your muscles and tissues which would then need to be rebuilt. At this stage, inadequate sleep will result in decreased muscle efficiency and lower energy levels which would mean an inhibited capacity to keep up with your exercise plans.

You might also feel a bit more post workout pain in your muscles, if you don’t give your body enough time to rest and in this case mo’ pain equals less gain.

Visceral Fat Loss

Visceral Fat

Unfortunately, most people on weight loss programs do not really realize that there are different types of fat with the two main relevant types being visceral and subcutaneous fat. Subcutaneous fat as the name implies, lies just beneath the surface of the skin and is the most obvious type of fat. The other type, visceral fat, is significantly more unhealthy than subcutaneous fat. It could cause serious complications such as liver failure and kidney problems in even seemingly healthy looking people.

The good news is that visceral fat is relatively easy to lose and adequate sleep has been found to be very effective at controlling the levels of visceral fat loss.

Cortisol Control

The hormone Cortisol, plays a very significant role is stress management and the body’s immune system. Cortisol functions primarily by temporarily releasing glucose and inhibiting insulin production in order to prep the body for a response to a perceived stressful situation. Trouble is, normal human life is filled with unpredictable situations which could send stress cues to the brain and frequently elevated Cortisol levels will have a number of serious side effects including increased blood sugar levels which, aside from being a diabetes threat, leads to increased urges to eat as well as direct visceral fat gain.

A lack of sleep is perceived by the body as a stress indicator and is one of the situations which could cue the release of Cortisol. If experienced often enough, sleep deprivation will trigger the process described above. Sleeping well is therefore essential not only for weight loss but also for avoiding excess weight gain in the first place.

Hunger Management/Glucose Control

Hunger Management

The glucose the body needs to perform is taken from the cells in the body. At times the body will require more glucose from the cells and when the body is in this state, cues are sent to the brain that the body requires more energy to function. This energy comes in the form of food, so when your body feels like it requires more energy, you start to feel hungry. Also, as pointed out in the previous point, increased Cortisol levels, due to sleep deprivation, will also stimulate the release of glucose.


Sleep alone will not be sufficient to help you lose weight and get into the shape of your life, but be sure that without adequate sleep, getting into shape will be an uphill task.

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