Sleep and Body Composition

February 15, 2019

Science has good news for people who like to sleep in and enjoy a little extra shut-eye and a word of caution to those who would rather sleep when they’re dead. Spending time with your pillow plays as important a role in physical fitness and your body composition and health as drinking water and getting exercise. The relationship between sleep and stress has long been known, but science also promotes the natural inclination to rest and restore because of the effect sleep has in aiding metabolism. Being well slept is a key component in weight loss and body composition management and leads to overall better health.

The amount of good sleep a body gets is in direct relation to maintaining a healthy diet and muscle to body fat ratio. A few explanations in the ways that this is done are outlined below.

Boost Metabolic Rate and Control Body Composition

Doc Parsley hails sleep as one of the best ways to boost metabolic rate and control body composition. He points out how sleep is greatly responsible for the body’s hormone regulation. Growth hormone, testosterone, thyroid, and hormones released by the adrenal system are all affected by sleep and are among the hormones responsible for the body’s metabolic functions and rate.

These hormones relate to each other in complex ways and being in tune with our circadian rhythm assists them with functioning in the ways in which they ought. If you are losing a good night’s rest, you also lose your body’s ability to enjoy optimum metabolic functions. Check out Sleep basics: 101 for more about circadian rhythms and ways for achieving much needed sleep at the right times.

The Role of Sleep in Insulin Sensitivity

The role sleep plays in the bodily mechanism known as insulin sensitivity is also important in understanding the effects sleep has on diet, fat storage, and food consumption.

Insulin sensitivity determines how your body uses and responds to the effects of insulin, telling the body whether to store fat or use fuel for muscles or other processes. It is also regulated by good sleep. Lack of sleep decreases insulin sensitivity and affects food partitioning in the body, which is how your body decides what to do with its fuel. With low insulin sensitivity bodies tend to use fuel for storing fat while higher insulin sensitivity signals the body to use that fuel for your muscles, physiological functions, and the rest of your body. These are some examples of how sleep affects body composition, your body fat percentage, or muscle to body fat ratio.

Low insulin sensitivity also plays a factor in a person’s habit of seeking out and eating high glycemic index foods. This type of diet results in a blood sugar crash and subsequently people reach for more high caloric foods to recharge. This is a cycle perpetuated from eating poor quality food, and not getting enough sleep is another culprit.

Knowledge of the effects of sleeping and how to achieve regular slumber provides the tools and incentive to attain this essential component for good health and wellness. You can put your important sleeping work to good use by employing other tools to boost metabolism such as drinking water and exercising. If you love sleep or have been criticized for getting too much sleep, this news should come as some validation to seek out a well-rested lifestyle.

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