Article Image

Why Sleep Helps You Lose Weight

Hayley Dawes
4 October 2022

Sleep deprivation plagues a quarter of the world’s population. Sleep is necessary for good health, and it is never too late to get out of poor sleep patterns. Sleep is essential for brain function and performance. This means the quality of your sleep impacts your work, studies, and your mood.

If you don’t eat nutritiously and do the right exercise, or lead an unhealthy lifestyle, you will be more prone to sleep disturbances. No matter how well you eat and exercise, if you do not get proper sleep, all your efforts will be in vain. 

What Happens to the Body During Sleep?

During sleep, the tissues in your body get repaired. You also produce Human Growth Hormone (HGH) – from the pituitary gland, which helps to keep lower levels of body fat and repairs your body, inkling the turnover of bone, muscle, and collagen. Functions that happen during sleep increase longevity and a healthier body composition. 

Stage 3, also known as deep sleep or slow-wave sleep, accounts for about one-quarter of your sleep each night. Deep sleep is the most restorative in all stages of sleep. During this stage of sleep, HGH is released and works to restore and rebuild your body and muscles form the stresses of the day.

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

Aim for going to bed between 10-11pm and depending on your personal needs, try to sleep between 7-9 hours minimum. With less sleep, there are higher chances of many inflammatory diseases. All of our cells renew during sleep and hormones regulate themselves.

Is Sleep Affected by Alcohol?

Studies have shown that drinking alcohol makes you sleep faster, but the sleep cycles are disturbed. The likelihood of waking up in the middle of the night after drinking is high and the sleep is not as valuable.

The body is focused on metabolising the fermented sugars in the alcohol and so the (REM) deep sleep cycle is reduced. Alcohol keeps you in the lighter stages of sleep, so you don’t experience the lovely deep sleep that we need.

Why Do You Never Feel Full?

If you find yourself constantly eating and never feeling satisfied, it could be sleep deprivation or not having enough nutrition, which can also cause insomnia. You could be having lots of food that is classed as healthy or lots of ‘low fat low calorie’ food, but not enough nourishment for your body. If you have the right vitamins and minerals, you are full. When your body is satisfied nutritionally, you are more likely to have a better sleep.

During sleep, our hunger hormones, grehlin and leptin are regulated. Grehlin is responsible for hunger and leptin is responsible for feeling full. In the daytime, these neurotransmitters are increased and decreased, signalling the need to consume calories. Studies show that with very little good sleep, these neurotransmitters become dysregulated.

How Sleep Affects Metabolism 

When we lack good sleep, we also have less stable sugar levels (glucose intolerance and insulin resistance) as well as more chance of cravings, so more chances of diabetes and obesity. Not eating enough of the right foods for the right nutrients can lead your body to starvation, sleep deprivation and susceptible to disease.

Oxidative Stress and Sleep

A good amount of sleep increases resistance to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body. Free radicals are unstable molecules that are created when we eat and exercise and when exposed to smoke and pollution. Antioxidants are produced by foods abundant in vitamins C and E, that help fight the free radicals.

The Link Between Stress and Weight Gain

Mental stress, whether it is part of, or as a result of poor sleep, can enhance appetites, increase weight gain, and decrease motivation for physical activity. Reducing stress and eating the right foods, at the right times, with the right movement, will contribute greatly to rectifying this.

How Can You Improve Your Sleep? 

As we get older, our sleep quality decreases. Try some of these tips to start with:

  • Cut out caffeine and try herbal teas instead
  • Eat a nutrient-rich diet that is full of everything the body needs
  • Do the right exercise at the right time of the day
  • Avoid nightcaps and alcohol right before bedtime
  • Avoid screens about 2 hours before getting into bed
  • Sleep in a darkened room that isn’t too warm
  • Boosting your insulin levels with the right type of carbohydrates, like sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin, and quinoa, will help produce melatonin
  • Reading before bed takes the mind off things and is a good natural sleeping aid

Can CBD Help Sleep?

One increasingly popular strategy for sleeping better is taking cannabidiol (CBD), a derivative of cannabis. CBD is commonly used to improve sleep and decrease anxiety, as it has a calming effect on the nervous system.

In recent decades, scientist have discovered that CBD is one of the most stress-reducing of the natural compounds derived from the cannabis plant. There’s also evidence indicating CBD can reduce symptoms of depression, by increasing serotonin levels in the brain.

Stress, anxiety, and physical pain are some of the most common obstacles to healthy, restful, plentiful sleep. CBD’s ability to relieve physical pain and psychological stress and anxiousness likely contribute to its effect as a natural sleep promoter. 

If you start using CBD, whether for anxiety, pain, sleep, or other purposes, give it a little time to take effect, and don’t be discouraged in the meantime. The routine use of CBD is the way to get the best results from this cannabinoid. *DREEM TIP* For sleep issues, we recommend Night Drops to help you unwind and drift into a good night’s sleep. Created to help you regain deep sleep, our proprietary Super Terpene Blend enhanced with potent broad-spectrum CBD, calming limonene, and lavender-scented linalool, all further increase its sleep-inducing properties.