Ghrelin & Sleep – How Sleep Affects Fat Loss

It’s possible that a crappy night’s sleep can do this for your fat loss.

Hey, I’m Coach Brian, certified strength coach, certified sports nutritionist with Now let’s talk about this thing called sleep. We all need sleep. We’ve put so much effort into living a healthy lifestyle throughout the day, or we try to at least, but we put so little effort in to sleep, but yet sleep is such an important thing on everything, on energy balance, hormonal regulation, muscle growth, fighting off infection, things like this. All of this takes place in sleep.

So why am I talking about sleep and what am I talking about or what did I allude to of putting you at risk of this? Well, before I give you what it could result in, let me talk about this thing called ghrelin. You might have heard this before. It’s starting to surface lately the past few years. This is the hunger hormone. This is the hormone that is responsible for increasing appetite when you’re hungry. So when the stomach empties this hormone is secreted within the stomach, released through the bloodstream, sent up to the brain. Your brain goes back to the stomach and is saying hey, I need food to survive. So this thing that is going to put you at risk is essentially ghrelin, but it also could result in obesity.

Now if you’re not familiar with what obesity is, take a look around you. You might even have a loved one or a family member or a friend that suffers from obesity. You could even be categorized from the doctor as clinically obese. Now I don’t want you to think that just by going by BMI or height/weight ratio is a categorization of obese, because some people, the more muscle they have the more weight they carry, but that doesn’t mean they’re obese. I’m talking about general obesity. This is for more sedentary folks or people who don’t practice healthy principles.

So tying it all together back to sleep. It’s been proven that anything less than roughly 7 ½ hours of sleep could open yourself up to a risk of an increased chance of obesity. Like I said, a lot of the metabolic properties and principles and practices that carries you through the day needs to be reset and recharged as you sleep. So if your body is not entering in that deep sleep with rapid eye movement, cognitive regeneration, things like that, your brain can’t do its just appropriately. That’s when things start breaking down, that’s when the body starts going into a state of survival, that’s when more fat is being stored and also, the next day you’re going to feel tired. And when you’re tired, certain hormones like ghrelin are released because it associates tired with stress. Anytime you’re stressed hormones are released and certain hormones are inhibited. Ghrelin is released, leptin is depressed. I’m not going to talk too much about ghrelin and leptin and how they interact with each other, but the main thing is, the take home message from this video is that you need to sleep properly.

I want to give  you a couple different ways that you can sleep better so that you’re not opening yourself up to obesity. I mean, it’s kind of common sense, but exercise. Exercise actually helps you sleep better, doing things like brisk walking late in the evening, going for some strength training or maybe even a spin class first thing in the morning. Any type of exercise will be beneficial for your sleep.

Not only that, but nutrition. Nutrition plays a huge role on how you sleep. I’m talking things like caffeine, alcohol, a lot of sugars, heavy, dense foods that have a hard time being digested quickly, making sure that you’re eating a good amount of protein, lean proteins, vegetables, things like that.

Not only that, like I said, stress, that’s a huge counterpart of sleep. If you have a lot of stress you’re going to have a hard time falling asleep. The lower stress you have, the better you’re going to sleep.

Not only that, but also technology plays a huge role in how stimulated we become before we go to sleep. So you want to scrap the iPod, you want to scrap the iPad, you want to scrap the iPhone, you want to scrap TV, computers, any type of screen that is going to stimulate you, that is going to open yourself up to thoughts. If you’re scrolling through social media your brain is just going to be overloaded with things. So you want to take these four things into consideration when you’re dealing with trying to get a better night’s sleep and also trying to fall sleep faster.

So there you have it. You see the importance of a good night’s sleep and how it affects the hunger hormone, ghrelin. What I suggest to you is try a couple different practices that might be simple at first and then over time hopefully you’re going to apply these principles throughout your day and you’re going to see yourself getting a better night’s sleep, but also losing some unwanted fat.

Author: Mike Westerdal

Mike Westerdal is a national best-selling fitness author, personal trainer, Iron Man Magazine contributor and certified Russian kettlebell instructor. Mike is the co-founder of Unlock Your Body & The Unlock Your Body Inner Circle as well as the co-creator of the wildly popular Unlock Your Hip Flexors and Forward Head Posture Fix programs that has changed so many lives.

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