Would you be surprised if you were told that you lose fat when you sleep? We all know that eating fewer calories and exercising are the main habits for losing fat. However, sleeping is actually the third part that completes the cycle of your healthy lifestyle.
As you read that heading, yes, it is true that you lose fat when you sleep and lots of factors are involved in that. Your habits matter a lot, which we will discuss below. Also, we will talk about how exactly you lose fat when you sleep.
How Do You Lose Fat When You sleep?
If you have an inclination towards fitness, you must be aware of the term basal metabolic rate and how your body uses energy even at rest to help itself perform all the functions (such as working of organs) and biological processes. These processes don’t stop, I mean, your heart doesn’t stop beating when you are asleep, does it?
Hence, your body keeps on consuming energy to aid all the biological processes and, while doing so, it uses energy. Fat is stored energy and hence, we can say you lose fat when you sleep because a part of the energy is also made by breaking fatty acids.
If you train regularly, you must be aware of how your body repairs itself while you are asleep. Major recovery takes place when we are sleeping and muscles alone consume 20% of the total energy when you are asleep.
Obviously, when you are awake, your body will have to use more energy, which is about 1 calorie per minute, but even when you are asleep, your body expends a total of 400-500 calories in one night of sleep. Now, good sleeping habits matter a lot, and what your habits are, determines how efficiently your body will function, and helps you lose fat.
Less Sleeping Will Make You Fat
We know, sleeping does aid fat loss, but how does less sleep cause us to get more fat? The answer is simple. When you sleep less, your body uses more energy to keep you awake, and you will eventually feel hungry at some point. It is now when we consume snacks and even simple snacks like biscuits can give you around 150 calories even if you eat only 3 pieces.
So, yes, staying up late will curb your fat loss goals and a lot of hormonal disturbances also take place, which will be discussed later. If you really stay up late, then the best idea for you would be to improve your sleep timing.
Once you stay up late, you will feel hungry irrespective of what you eat throughout the day. Now, you can’t sleep when you are feeling that hungry, and the only way is to get some quick snack which might be giving you so many calories than you can think.
The best option will be to avoid waking up till late hours and, no matter how much a game or movie might seem tempting, you have to take control and sleep. Just keep the fun for the next day.
The Hormonal Game
Without going into deep science, I would like to mention how your hormones are a major part of your goals and daily habits. Hormones function as a part of many body processes. There are hormones that control your appetite(leptin and ghrelin) and then there are hormones that regulate your energy levels. Bad sleeping habits can cause hormone imbalances and leave you to wonder why you don’t feel normal.
If muscle building is your goal, then you should never do anything that imbalances your hormones. This is because, when you sleep, your body releases hormones that promote recovery, and you can say “muscle-building hormones”. If you miss out on this, you will be changing the whole equation and the results will not be in your favor.
Less Sleep Means Less Muscle and Slow Metabolism
So, if you have been staying up late and going to the gym at the same time. You are hindering your optimum muscle growth rate. In this case, you will build fewer muscles due to overall less sleep. Further, it will slow down your metabolism as your muscle mass goes down. In short, your body will be pushed towards a state of storing more fat and keeping fewer muscles.
Staying up late can really be tempting, but what’s the price? It’s not really worth missing the freshness of the morning and the benefits your body gets from quality sleep. Hence, you don’t want to slow down your metabolism.
No matter, if you are trying to lose fat or build more muscles, good quality sleep acts as a wheel. As much as you need to train properly and eat properly, you need to rest and recover too.
Quality of Sleep Matters Not Quantity of Sleep
One of the most heartbreaking truths that I had to face was that sleeping from 6 am to 2 pm isn’t the same as sleeping from 10 pm to 6 am. Lots of processes take place within your body, such as detoxification and production of waste. You have to keep in mind that your biological clock is working and that demands you to sleep at the right time.
The quality of sleep matters more, and you can actually test this. When you sleep late and wake up late, you feel tired no matter how long you have slept. Sleep for that same 8 hours from 11 pm to 7 am, and you feel so refreshed.
Apart from being refreshed, you will be helping your own body in keeping up your recovery processes and burning calories from fat mainly.
Sleep Schedule in this Lockdown
We don’t need to recall how the sleep schedule has been ruined for most of us in this time of lockdown. Even those, who work out and have a good diet might find it hard to stick to a good sleep schedule. It might not sabotage all your health benefits, but it does not help you either.
It would be unfair to ask you to change your sleep cycle all at once and that’s not even possible but one thing that we can do is, slowly try to shift the cycle backward.
As much as I find pleasure to mention all of these facts, I can’t deny that I, myself is stuck in a bad sleeping cycle. As much as I want you guys to improve your lifestyle, I am going to try to follow them myself. For more awesome articles, visit here.
I am Adarsh, an Exercise & Nutrition Science graduate with a passion for fitness. At AD Fit Life, I am committed to delivering authentic information related to health and fitness in the simplest way. My write-ups are practical that help you bring a change to your lifestyle.