You burn calories when sleeping
If you think your body completely shuts down during sleep, then you’re wrong. In fact, your brain is more active during the deeper stages of sleep than when you’re awake. The average person burns 50-100 calories per hour of sleep, and although we’re not saying that sleep is a good way to burn calories, the concept does highlight its role in weight loss.
Lack of sleep increases your appetite
Two important hormones are at play here: ghrelin and leptin. Leptin is responsible for making you feel full, and studies have found that sleeping poorly suppresses the production of this hormone. This means it’ll take you longer to feel full and make you want to eat more.
Ghrelin is almost the exact opposite of leptin and is a hormone which not only stimulates your appetite but also makes you crave higher-calorie foods. Research shows that your body produces more ghrelin after a bad night’s sleep, and when you combine this with the suppression of leptin, you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
Sleeping well gives you more control over your weight
A study of identical twins found that lifestyle choices (as opposed to genetic predisposition) were more influential on weight control when combined with a good night’s sleep. This is particularly relevant for people where obesity runs in the family – sleep well and your family history of obesity is less likely to have an effect if you’re making healthy lifestyle choices.
The vicious circle of sleep and weight gain
When you eat junk food, your energy levels reach an unnatural peak. And because what goes up must come down, you’ll often feel sluggish and tired a couple of hours after eating sugary foods. These unnatural peaks and troughs in energy levels desynchronize your circadian rhythm (body clock), making a good night’s sleep more difficult to achieve.
This means it’s a vicious circle – lack of sleep increases the chances of gaining weight, and gaining weight increases the chances of having a bad night’s sleep. That’s why it’s vital to prioritise nutrition, exercise, AND rest (the forgotten ingredient) to get the most out of a weight-loss regime.
At Northern Bootcamp, we understand the importance of getting adequate rest – that’s why we provide comforting accommodation to allow our campers to get all the shut-eye they need. You’d be forgiven for thinking that these images are from a luxury hotel, and not a fitness boot camp – but we’re a boot camp like no other.
Get in touch to book a place on camp!