On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m answering the question: how much sleep do you really need to lose weight faster?
I’m also sharing 7 tips to get higher quality sleep.
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So if you’re constantly dieting and working out, but are still struggling to lose weight, this post is for you.
And I know this applies to a lot of you.
Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed, 30-45% of American adults are getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night.
This is not good for weight loss, muscle building, or overall health, as research is showing this lack of sleep is becoming a major cause in obesity and diabetes.
The reason for this is because sleep deprivation can manipulate key fat burning and fat storing hormones your the body.
This includes the fat storing hormone, insulin.
When you’re insulin resistant, your body has to produce extra insulin to remove the glucose from the blood stream.
This creates a fat storing environment, where the sugar is more likely to be stored in the fat cells, rather than being burned for energy in the muscle and liver cells.
Think about the last time you had a poor sleep.
The constant hunger cravings for sugary foods after a bad night’s sleep are real.
In addition to affecting your insulin sensitivity, just one poor sleep can also cause a rise in your stress hormone, cortisol, along with negatively affecting your hunger hormones, ghrelin and leptin.
Elevated levels of cortisol can negatively influence your blood sugar levels and strip your body of muscle tissue by converting it to glucose.
This potential loss of muscle then lowers your metabolism, thus increasing the risk of weight gain, especially belly fat.
By being awake late at night, you’re probably in front of the TV, mindlessly eating snack foods high in fattening refined carbohydrates and processed fat.
As you can see, not only does this lack of sleep create a fat storing environment in your body, it also makes your hungrier, increases your cravings, and lowers your energy levels to get in a good workout.
It’s not hard to tell this poor combination has the potential to lead to massive weight gain.
So the question is, how much sleep do you really need to lose weight faster?
For adults aged 18-64, the National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
For some people, 6 hours may be sufficient, or even 10-11 hours, however the money spot for most people is 7-9 hours.
Now I know you’ve probably been told to get 7-9 hours of sleep hundreds of times before.
But now that you know how important sleep is to lose weight, I hope you begin to start changing your lifestyle and daily behaviors to get at least 6-7 hours of sleep.
As an entrepreneur, a dad of a 2 year old toddler, and another baby boy on the way, I also have to work hard to get quality sleep.
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So here are a few tips on how to get a higher quality sleep to lose weight.
Lately I’ve fallen off the wagon with this one due to being away on vacation in Phoenix, however I ideally fall asleep at 10pm and get up at 5am, even on weekends.
This gives me 7 hours of quality sleep.
I also find when I get up early in the morning, I fall asleep much faster at night.
Plus the quality of sleep you get at 10pm is much higher quality REM sleep, than if you were to go to bed at 1am and get up at 9am.
Again, it’s not just about the length of sleep, it’s also about the quality of sleep.
Even though you think you may pass out after a night of drinking, alcohol negatively affects the quality of REM sleep, therefore you don’t wake up fresh and alert.
Now I still go out for drinks with friends on occasion, as well as enjoying the occasional glass of red wine at dinner, but it’s not an every day situation.
Moderation, not perfection.
Living in a hot climate can really affect quality sleep.
I live in San Diego, therefore I usually set the air conditioning at night to come on at any temperature above 71F.
Although I’ve heard 68F is optimal, my wife Jessica finds that too cold, so like everything in marriage, you have to be flexible.
This includes stopping work, which I like to do at least 2 hours before bed.
Although, I’m also guilty of this sometimes.
Even though we don’t have a TV in our bedroom, we are guilty of typically watching one show on our mobile device in bed.
However we do use the Night Shift feature on our iPhone and iPad to turn off the blue light from our mobile devices.
You should do the same.
In a perfect world, 1 hour before bed you would take a relaxing bath and read a book, before going to sleep.
If you don’t have black out curtains, you should at least shut your blinds.
Even the light from your alarm clock can mess with your body’s sleep hormones, such as melatonin.
Try to get the light out of your bedroom.
Since my optimal time to be asleep is 10pm, this means I would stop drinking caffeine by 12pm.
This 10 hours gives your body enough time to eliminate the caffeine from your system.
Switch to a relaxing caffeine free herbal tea before bed.
If you consistently follow all of these sleep tips, yet you still can’t get the quality hours of sleep, talk to your physician.
I hope this episode has answered the question of how much sleep do you really need to lose weight faster.
As you could tell, I’m not perfect at this either, however I’m working to get better at it, just like you should be doing.
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Thanks for watching and keep Living Lean.
Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.