Why can’t I lose weight?
Poor sleep affects fitness and wellness more than people might think. Not sleeping enough – less than seven hours per night – can reduce or even undo the benefits of dieting. A lack of sleep makes you feel tired and groggy, and it does the same thing to your fat cells.
This is called “Metabolic Grogginess” and it makes your body less effective at breaking down fatty tissues. In fact, those who regularly sleep for less than six hours per night are 30% more likely to become obese than those who sleep between seven and nine hours.
Sleeping better also makes it easier to eat healthily. If you're sleep-deprived, your brain gets more excited when it sees high-calorie food (we’ve all been there!). And of course, the more tired you are, the more likely you are to give in to temptation (we’ve all been there too!). But if you sleep well, suddenly those unhealthy snacks aren’t as appealing.
And it’s not just weight. If you don’t sleep properly your general appearance can take a hit as well. During deep sleep we release optimal amounts of human growth hormone which affects, amongst other things, the firmness of our skin and the tone of the muscles underneath it. When we’re tired, we tend to run on cortisol (the human body stress hormone). High levels of cortisol have been shown to break down the collagen proteins that 'glue' your skin cells together. This leads to fine lines, poor tone and wrinkles. So getting one’s “beauty sleep” isn’t just something your mum used to say, she was in fact right.
If you are exercising regularly and eating well but still find you are not reaching your goals for weight loss then maybe lack of quality sleep is key.
At The Insomnia Clinic we help people to understand and improve their poor sleep which in turn improves daytime functioning, physical and mental health. The programme of treatment we offer is cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-i) so if you are still struggling to sleep then CBT-i is the NHS recommended approach to fix poor sleep. CBT-i works by looking at both the behavioural and cognitive (mental) factors which are maintaining sleep problems.
Contact The Insomnia Clinic to find out more about our 1:1 sessions, buy the online course or to book your free 10-minute telephone consultation to find out more.