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Sleep – The Missing Ingredient to Your Fat Loss Elixr

Sleep – The Missing Ingredient to Your Fat Loss Elixr

We all know how important it is for us to get our 8 hours of beauty sleep everyday, yet most of us rarely do. Most of us understand that sleep is important for growth, recovery and optimal health. However, did you know that snoozing around like a sloth could actually help you get leaner and sexier?
Did you know that snoozing around like a sloth could actually help you get leaner?

I guess we know Sleeping Beauty's secret now

I guess we know Sleeping Beauty’s secret now

The Study:

For 14 days, participants had to stay in bed for either 8.5 or 5.5 hours per night.  At least 3 months later, participants swapped conditions. Both groups ate the same amount of calories (food) and were on a caloric deficit (eating less energy than they expended).

Check out the study here:

The Results:

8.5 hour group lost 2.33x more fat than the 5.5 hour group. Furthermore, the 5.5 hour group experienced far more hunger than the 8.5 hour group.


Here’s Why:

1. Increased Stress

When we sleep less, our body produces extra stress hormones known as cortisol. Cortisol is the big bad hormone that inhibits fat loss and promotes lean mass catabolism (wasting away muscle tissue). Since our metabolism is directly linked to the amount of lean mass we carry, the decrease in lean mass leads to metabolic slowdown and hence less fat burnt.

2. Increased Hunger

Ghrelin acting up
Ghrelin acting up
Ever noticed how your sweet tooth acts up when you stay up late at night? How your late night movie marathon turns into a honey-glazed popcorn fest as you clean out your fridge overnight (literally)? Yep, its the damn hormones again. Sleep deprivation causes an increase in acylated ghrelin, which reduces energy expenditure, stimulate hunger and food intake, promote retention of fat. It also shifts energy expenditure away from fat stores and into your muscle glycogen stores.
Wait, I’m not done yet.
Can't put that donut down? Might be your low leptin levels
While ghrelin is the hormone that makes you hungry, leptin is the one that makes you stop eating. The lack of sleep causes lowered leptin level, which not only reduces metabolism but makes you unable to control your food intake.
Binging too often? It might be the low leptin levels.

What to do:

Getting good sleep goes beyond simply getting those 7-8 hours in. Establishing good sleep hygiene goes a long way, not just in helping your concentration and productivity in the week but also your body composition.

Establish a fixed sleep schedule


  • By maintaining a constant sleep/wake schedule, your body will develop a healthy regulated circadian rhythm by producing melatonin, the hormone that encourages sleep to be produced at the right time. It will also encourage the development of a biological alarm clock. Notice how some people can wake up refreshed without needing to hit the snooze button? It’s probably because their body already knows it’s time to do so.
    • Fitness trackers such as the LifeTrak Brite R450 can set reminders not only to buzz when it’s sleepy time, but also buzz to wake you up intelligently when you are in the lightest phase of your sleep.
    • Limit light exposure (more specifically blue light) before bed
    •  Turn off all screens (which tend to emit more blue light) before bed time as blue light suppresses melatonin productioSorry, no Insta or Whatsapp before bed
    Sorry, no Insta or Whatsapp before bed
    • The LifeTrak Brite R450 can be of use here as it monitors your blue light exposure before bed time
    • Establish regular before bed routines
    • Healthy before bed routines that help you unwind from a tough day at work can help promote quality rest and sleep. These can include simple activities such as taking a warm bath or doing some casual yoga stretching will go a long way in helping you prepare your mind and body for optimal rest
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