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Why Sleep is Important to Weight Loss

sleeping for weight loss


Trying to lose weight without much success?  Your eating is perfect, you are doing your time in the gym, you’re taking every supplement under the sun…. What are you doing wrong??  Have you thought about your sleep habits?  They may just be to blame.



Sleep and Weight Loss


Sleeping is essential to a healthy body, especially a body that is attempting to lose weight.  Mix in an exercise routine and that body is now in desperate need of a quality snooze.  Why is that you ask?  Our bodies are designed to shut off each night and sleep to recharge the batteries.  This means that during sleep, our bodies are doing maintenance.  Think of it as the time that a grocery store is closed.  During that time, they restock the shelves, mop the floors, repair broken light bulbs, fill the cash register and bring in new well-rested employees.  The way a business functions is much like how your body operates.  During sleep, the body repairs tissues, heals itself, fights off infections, regulates hormone production and improves brain function.  All of this is done through the power of sleep.

With weight loss in particular, the body is usually being pushed to limits it isn’t used to.  Maybe calories are limited.  Maybe the body is exerting more energy through intense workouts.  All of these things add up to a body that needs rest to recover and repair.  In addition, the liver plays a huge roll in weight loss.  It filters toxins and it helps process fat for utilization.  If the liver isn’t healthy, weight loss is slower.  A healthy liver is a liver that is well-rested.  Sleep enables the liver to detoxify and get ready for the next day.



Sleep Schedule


It’s not just adequate sleep that is important, but sleep that is regular and scheduled.  That means that sleeping at roughly the same intervals and at the same times daily could really be of benefit.  Studies show that we get our best sleep from 10:00 pm – 6:00 am.  If that is true, we should shoot for 8 hours of sleep per night within that time period (or as close to it as possible).  Sleeping for 8 hours has been the standard for decades.  However, some adults do better on less or more sleep.  It is essential to listen to your body and know what works for you.  A weekly sleep schedule may look like this:


Monday: 10:00pm-6:30am (8.5 hours)

Tuesday: 11:00pm-6:30am (7.5 hours)

Wednesday: 9:30pm-6:30am (9 hours)

Thursday: 10:00pm-6:00am (8 hours)

Friday: 11:00pm-6:30am (7.5 hours)

Saturday: 12:00am-7:00am (7 hours)

Sunday: 9:30pm-6:00am (8.5 hours)


As you can see, the sleep cycle may change night to night, especially between work days and weekends.  The key is that the body is recouping that sleep at a later date and that the average amount of sleep over the week is about 8 hours.  Did you know that the body can make up for sleep deprivation in just one 8-hour night of rest?  This means that you could stay up for 3 days and miss 24 hours of sleep- while making it up with just 8 hours.  The body is amazing!  However, this is not recommended.  Stick to a sleep schedule for a happy body and improved weight loss results.


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