Yes, you can burn fat in the bedroom by having lots of… Sleep of course! Get your mind out of the gutter. In all seriousness, take a look below to discover how getting 8-9 hours of sleep per night can actually help you burn fat, look better and feel great.
Faster Recovery From Exercise
Sleep can help the body repair and recover from your workouts which sounds pretty basic, low level stuff, but shouldn’t be overlooked. Just think the faster you can recover, the faster you can get back up in the gym and do it all again. In turn this means you’ll see results much faster.
Growth hormone (GH) is secreted by the pituitary gland when you sleep. GH is responsible for not only stimulating growth and cell reproduction, but it can also help turn back your body’s internal clock, increase libido, boost energy levels and most importantly burn fat. It does this by elevating levels of glucose and free fatty acids in the blood to be used as fuel. Remember, poor quality sleep, means poor quality GH levels.
Regulated Cortisol Levels
Despite its bad reputation, cortisol is needed in the body for important things like waking you up in the morning and helping you burn fat during exercise. Chronically elevated levels of cortisol, however, can be destructive towards your fat loss goals. Things like poor sleep and everyday stress can elevate cortisol levels to high. Cravings for junk food and increased body fat, particularly around the middle, are just a few of the negative side effects of chronically elevated cortisol levels.
Better Leptin/Ghrelin Ratios
Leptin and ghrelin can best be described as on/off switches for your appetite. Leptin is a satiety hormone, whereas ghrelin is a hunger hormone. With poor quality sleep you’ll mess up the ratios of these all important hormones. In one study, researchers found that people who slept only four hours for two consecutive nights experienced an 18% reduction in leptin and a 28% increase in ghrelin. The worst news is with levels of leptin decreased, you’ll never feel quite satisfied with the portion sizes of the food your eating. This means you’ll be very inclined to overeat. Just a thought, but have you ever had a poor nights sleep and then craved carby/sugary foods the following day?
Improved Insulin Sensitivity
Individuals that are sensitive to insulin are able to burn fat faster and build muscle with ease. The contrary, Insulin resistance, is a condition in which the body does not use insulin efficiently to move glucose from the blood and into the cells and will therefore have to produce more for it to have an efficient effect. The higher the levels of circulating insulin, the more lipolysis (the breakdown of fats) becomes inhibited.
Studies have confirmed that a good nights sleep can improve speed, accuracy and reaction times in athletes. One study looked at the basketball team at Stanford University over a period of several months. The players simply added an average of two hours of extra sleep per night, which resulted in increased speed by up to 5% and their free-throws were almost 10% more accurate. Just think how this improved performance could transfer into your workouts and daily life. “But I’m not an athlete” I hear you say? Well you are, you’re an athlete of everyday life.
Strengthened Immune System
Ok, so even though this point isn’t directly related to fat loss, a strengthened immune system can only be a good thing. Think of it this way, the stronger your immune system, the less likely you are to become struck down with a nasty cold or flu. And illness is one guaranteed way to halt your health and fitness progress.
Take a look at this related post for some useful sleep aiding supplements.