Weight problems and trouble sleeping may seem to be unrelated issues, but in fact, they’re very closely related. A full 77 percent of adults who are obese report experiencing some kind of sleep problem. Meanwhile, the more that adults exercise, the less likely they are to report sleep problems. If you have trouble sleeping, you may want to consider an easy solution. No, it doesn’t require pills, an expensive mattress or hypnotism, just sleep.
Banish the Bulge for a Better Night Sleep
A recent study by Johns Hopkins University reported that reforming diet and exercise routines can help overweight and obese individuals experience better sleep. In the study, participants reported a wide range of sleep troubles, including sleep apnea, restlessness, daytime drowsiness, insomnia, dependence on sedatives to sleep, and more.
However, upon incorporating diet and exercise into their lifestyle, they experienced a 20 percent improvement in their sleep. The study found that shrinking belly fat was especially helpful to improve sleep.
Sleep Apnea: A Serious Condition Alleviated by Weight Loss
Sleep apnea—a serious condition in which people stop breathing while they sleep—affects 18 million Americans and is commonly associated with being overweight. When people gain weight, especially in their necks, respiratory function decreases and breathing becomes difficult. This can commonly lead to sleep apnea, which can disrupt sleep and leave people sleep deprived and exhausted.
Fortunately, numerous studies indicate that losing weight in Phoenix can significantly decrease the effects of sleep apnea. Even as little as a 10 percent decrease in weight can reduce sleep apnea.
The Two-Way Street of Sleep and Weight Loss
The positive cause-and-effect relationship between sleep and weight loss works both ways. Not only does weight loss cause better sleep, but more sleep also causes weight loss. The reason for this is hormonal. Two specific hormones come into play here: grehlin, the hormone that tells our bodies that we’re hungry, and leptin, which tells us to stop eating.
When the body is sleep deprived, it creates more grehlin, the “I’m hungry” hormone, and less leptin, the “I’m full” hormone. With these signals out of balance, we eat more than we should. To top it all off, when we are sleep deprived, our metabolism slows down.
Steps You Can Take Today to Improve Sleep
If you want to improve your sleep through weight loss, there are a few first steps that you can get started on immediately.
- Improve your diet – Swap out fast food for the Medifast Weight Loss Program at one of 5 Valley Centers.
- Exercise more – If exercise has not been part of your normal routine, start slow and build up the intensity of your workouts at a steady pace. The last thing you want to do is get injured and deal with pain that prevents you from sleeping even more.
- Study your sleep – Take a look at your sleep schedule. Are you getting enough hours of sleep each night? Do you do things late at night that prevent you from falling asleep easily, like sitting in front of a computer or TV screen? Examine ways in which you can improve your sleeping conditions naturally.