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Is Sleep More Important Than Exercise in Weight Loss?

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You’re eating right and hitting the gym regularly. However, you’re still not seeing the weight loss results you want. What gives?

What a lot of people don’t realize is that an extra hour of sleep may actually be more beneficial to your health (and weight loss) than an hour on the treadmill.

Here’s why.

Sleep Boosts Your Metabolism

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If you’re not sleeping enough, it’s time to turn in earlier. It can be a big problem for you if your mattress is old and uncomfortable. If this is true, it is a good idea to buy bed by going to a website like PerfectSense and start getting a good night’s rest. Why?

Simply put, the more you sleep, the more you’re setting your body up to be a fat-burning machine. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that people who got less than the optimal amount of sleep showed an increase of about 300 calories per day.

At the same time, more sleep helps you keep healthy levels of the hormones ghrelin and leptin, which are crucial in regulating the body’s appetite. You can also avoid “metabolic grogginess,” which is a term coined by the University of Chicago. Their research shows that your body can enter this state after only 4 days of running a sleep deficit.

Just think about how many crazy workweeks have led to you getting a poor night’s sleep 4 out of 5 nights a week.

Less Sleep Leads to More Cravings

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A lack of sleep can really throw you off your diet.

First of all, when you’re sleep-deprived, you’re more likely to feel hungry, as we just explored above. Second of all, the more tired you are, the more you’re triggering the reward center in your brain to crave unhealthy foods that you think will make you feel better. It’s so easy to say, “I’ve earned this.”

It’s also just simply so much easier and appealing to grab something quick and unhealthy when you’re tired and your will-power is depleted.

A Decreased Quantity and Quality of Workouts

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We don’t need to tell you how hard it is to get to the gym when you’re tired. It’s not even truly about the physical activity involved. Going all the way to the gym, getting changed and working out can seem too emotionally exhausting. Going straight home after work is easier and far more enticing.

This is how far too many workout regimens get thrown off track. You’re tired tonight, so you say “I’ll skip the workout tonight and rest up.” However, you do that a few more times because you’re having a hard week. That turns into, “Ok, I’ll ramp up my workout routine again at the start of this month.”

When you’re well-rested, it’s much easier to find the energy to go to the gym or for a jog after work, instead of going right home and putting on comfy clothes.

This may all sound a bit counterintuitive. We’ve all been led to believe that activity and exercise will boost your metabolism. However, the rest is just as crucial. Short-changing yourself of sleep means you’re also hurting your metabolism, your will-power, and your next workout.

Be good to your body and give it the rest it deserves.