To burn fat while sleeping, you need to understand the vital role your metabolism and hormones play in the process. Check out more details about all this below.
Understanding weight regulation
Your metabolism converts the food you consume into energy, and even while resting, your body needs energy for essential functions such as digestion, maintaining temperature, and sustaining organ functions. During sleep, your body taps into fat stores to power these critical functions.
Hormones also play a crucial role in fat burning during sleep. Growth hormone, also known as the body’s fat-burning hormone, is released in higher quantities during deep sleep, stimulating fat breakdown and promoting the use of fat for energy.
Inadequate sleep can disrupt the balance of the satiety hormone leptin and hunger hormone ghrelin, leading to increased hunger and reduced feelings of fullness. This imbalance can result in weight gain, making it crucial to prioritize quality sleep for overall health and weight management.
Getting enough sleep can improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin, which helps transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells, preventing excess glucose from being stored as fat.
Experts believe that one reason for this is that sleep reduces stress, which in turn lowers the levels of cortisol and norepinephrine – hormones that can contribute to insulin resistance.
Sleep also activates the parasympathetic system, which is responsible for the body’s relaxation response. This can stimulate digestion and metabolic processes, including fat metabolism.
Tips and tricks
Avoid eating in the dark
There is research indicating that refraining from eating a few hours before bedtime can aid in weight loss. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain that regulates sleep cycles. Production of melatonin is boosted during darkness, inducing sleepiness, and reduced in light to help with wakefulness.
According to Dr. Pelz, a study published in Cell Metabolism in 2022 supports the idea of eating during daylight hours due to decreased melatonin production.
Eating in the dark increases melatonin levels, leading to insulin resistance and the inability of the body to produce insulin to drive glucose into cells. This results in the storage of glucose from meals as fat.
As a general guideline, Dr. Pelz suggests not eating for at least two hours before bedtime.
Dr. Joseph Mercola, an osteopathic physician and bestselling author, recommends having the final meal of the day at least three hours before going to bed. This is one of the simplest yet most effective ways to reduce insulin resistance and shrink the waistline, according to Dr. Mercola’s article.
Keeping the room cool
Research indicates that sleeping in a cool room can activate the parasympathetic nervous system.
This system is also known as the “rest and digest” system, which regulates functions such as digestion and metabolism, thereby aiding in fat burning. According to the study, exposing ourselves to cold environments turns on parasympathetic activity.
To improve your sleep, it may be helpful to enter a relaxed state before going to bed. You can achieve this by avoiding emotionally charged conversations in the evening hours.
One expert suggests implementing a rule in your household to avoid stressful conversations before bedtime and discussing them in the morning instead.
Elevated cortisol levels, which is the body’s stress hormone, can promote fat storage. However, during sleep, cortisol levels naturally decrease, halting this fat-storing effect.
High cortisol levels signal the body to store more energy resulting in greater fat retention.
According to a study, participants who slept for 8.5 hours each night lost 3.1 pounds (1.4 kilograms) of fat, whereas those who slept for only 5.5 hours and were on a minor calorie restriction (10 percent less than their daily energy expenditure) lost 1.3 pounds (0.6 kilograms) of fat within two weeks.