Rest and relaxation are essential for health, well-being and weight loss.
Whether you are just starting your journey with phentermine, about to finish or trying to maintain your weight after phentermine stopped working or treatment ended, it is crucial to get plenty of sleep. Adequate mental and physical recovery will help you feel your best and promote long-term weight loss success.
Weight loss relies not only on effective stress management during the day, but also quality sleep and recovery overnight.
Many people skimp on sleep in-favor of other, more enticing activities during the day – or even in an attempt to make time for healthy habits like daily exercise – but a lack of sleep can wreak havoc not only on weight loss, but also overall health.
Sleep and weight loss are inextricably linked because getting enough sleep:
Sleep deprivation dulls activity in the brain’s frontal lobe – the area responsible for logic, decision-making and impulse control – while increasing responsivity in the amygdala, the area that processes reward and emotion . The combination of decreased impulse control and increased reward makes harder to resist temptation, even if you know that the choice is not healthy.
Skimping on sleep increases feelings of hunger and cravings for high-calorie foods. Research shows that sleep-deprived subjects report 24% more hunger and 45% more cravings for high-carbohydrate, salty "junk" foods . When left to eat what they want, participants consume an average of 600 extra calories while short on sleep .
Sleep deprivation also affects hormone levels. First, it increases ghrelin production and decreases circulation of leptin. These changes strengthen hunger cues and decrease feelings of satiety, respectively, making you more likely to overeat.
Lack of sleep also increases the stress hormone, cortisol. The body perceives extended waking hours as form of stress, so cortisol production goes into overdrive to provide extra energy.
One of the ways cortisol provides additional energy is through promoting lean muscle breakdown and increasing visceral (abdominal) fat storage. In fact, a study from the University of Chicago found that dieters sleeping an average of 5.5 hours/night lost significantly more lean muscle mass than their counterparts who slept an average of 8.5 hours/night. This is problematic because losing lean muscle mass slows metabolism and makes it harder to lose or maintain weight, even with strict dieting .
Sufficient sleep also promotes weight loss by supporting a healthy metabolism. Not only does nighttime rest supply much-needed energy to take on the day and exercise, it also prepares the body to burn more calories at rest.
It is not only chronic sleep deprivation that proves harmful, however. Studies have shown that after just four days of insufficient sleep (4.5 hours/night), subjects' insulin sensitivity drops by 16% and fat cells' specific sensitivity to insulin drops by almost a third .
When your body fails to respond properly utilize glucose in your bloodstream it ends up storing the extra energy as fat. As a result, a lack of sleep contributes to unwanted fat storage, hinders weight loss efforts and may even promote weight ga
Yes: sleeping more helps you lose weight, but there is a limit. Sleeping too much or too little is detrimental to both health and weight loss.
To help fend off weight gain and an increased risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and psychological distress, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that adults ages 18-60 aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night . This amount of rest allows. the brain and body sufficient time to rest, recover and prepare for the following day .
There is an upper limit for recommended hours of sleep per night, however, becuase sleeping too much causes many of the same negative health consequences as sleeping too little. Sleeping 10 or more hours a night can actually make you feel more sluggish and irritable than sleeping the recommended 7-9 hours .
So, for both health and weight loss, try to get about 8 hours of sleep most nights.
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1. National Sleep Foundation. (2014, November 13). How to Fall Asleep Fast.
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5. Broussard, J. L., Ehrmann, D. A., Cauter, E. V., Tasali, E., & Brady, M. J. (2012). Impaired Insulin Signaling in Human Adipocytes After Experimental Sleep Restriction. Annals of Internal Medicine, 157(8), 549. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-157-8-201210160-00005
6. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. (n.d.). Sleep Deprivation and Deficiency.
7. Johns Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). Sleep Better.