Excerpt from The Way In: Five Winning Strategies to Lose Weight, Get Strong and Lift Your Life available now at amazon.com.
For obvious reasons, better sleep means better weight loss. Rest ensures you have the energy to move when you want, helps you make better decisions, and allows your body to burn more calories when you’re inactive. But the amount of sleep you get doesn’t just affect whether or not you’ll be able to lose weight, it also decides the kind of weight you will lose.
A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (Insufficient Sleep Undermines Dietary Efforts to Reduce Adiposity; October 5, 2010) showed that dieters who slept eight hours per night lost weight mostly from fat (yay!), while more than half of the pounds dropped by dieters who slept only five hours each night came from muscle (boo!).
Further, the study showed that after just two weeks of not getting enough sleep, your body starts producing more ghrelin--the hunger hormone--and less leptin--the “stop eating, I’m full” hormone. In other words, sleep deprivation makes you think you’re hungry when you’re not and inhibits your ability to know when you’re full. Push your bedtime too late and run the risk of sabotaging your health journey.