Improve your Fat Loss – Sleep Habits Can Hinder or Improve Progress

          Are you continuing to run off of only 5 hours of sleep and hoping to improve body composition? If this is you, unfortunately you are high-jacking your progress and likely regressing. The human body’s metabolic processes are largely influenced by the hormones of the endocrine system which cycle throughout 24 hours. Two hormones worth noting are Cortisol, which increases in times of stress and is associated with decreased performance and Testosterone, which promotes muscle growth (which burns calories) and increases metabolic rate (yes women have testosterone too) . Other hormones affected by sleep include Leptin and Ghrelin which have roles in hunger suppression and meal initiation respectively. In short, if sleep is of poor quality or quantity these hormone cycles are disrupted and even inverted. Research shows that both proper sleep quantity and quality can contribute to a successful weight loss program. One study associate higher success rates of 33% for weight loss programs in middle aged overweight and obese women for those women who slept more than 7hr and had good subjective quality of sleep.

Tips for Improving Sleep Quality/Quantity:

-Sleep in a room that is completely dark

-Avoid caffeine,  nicotine, sugar after lunch

-Drink water

-Keep your sleeping routine consistent

-Decrease exposure to TV or computer several hours before bed

-Shoot for 7-8 hrs of sleep


Article written by Rec. Sports & Fitness Center (MSU) certified personal trainer – Kevin Erickson.


Chaput JPTremblay A. Obesity Facts. 2012;5(4):561-6. Sleeping habits predict the magnitude of fat loss in adults exposed to moderate caloric  restriction. doi: 10.1159/000342054.

Chek P. (2012)  How to eat, move, and be healthy: Your personalized guide to looking and feeling great from the inside out San Diego:C.H.E.K. Institute

Thomson CAMorrow KLFlatt SWWertheim BCPerfect MMRavia JJ… Rock CL. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2012 Jul;20(7):1419-25. Relationship

between sleep quality and quantity and weight loss in women participating in a weight-loss intervention trial. doi: 10.1038/oby.2012.62.

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