Blog: Physical Training

Is Your Quantity & Quality of Sleep Making You Fat?

Approximately 68% of Americans suffer from some type of sleep disorder. A restless night or two has victimized us all; however, it seems as though our high stress society is creating an epidemic of sorts. And I don’t mean just a sleep epidemic but an obesity epidemic.

In fact, a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that cutting back on sleep increases appetite, slows fat loss and lowers metabolism by causing a loss of muscle tissue.

The study director Plamen Penev, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago said it best, “If your goal is to lose fat, skipping sleep is like poking sticks in your bicycle wheels.”

“Cutting back on sleep, a behavior that is ubiquitous in modern society, appears to compromise efforts to lose fat through dieting. In our study it reduced fat loss by 55 percent.”
~ Plamen Penev, MD, PhD

Not convinced yet?

In another study from the Federal University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, researchers found that poor sleep patterns increased appetite and cravings. This was due to a disruption in the secretion of the hormones, Ghrelin and Leptin. Both of these hormones play significant roles in metabolism, fat loss and appetite control. Without these hormones in check, sticking to an effective eating plan is beyond challenging.

Also reported in Obesity Reviews, Danish researchers reviewed 71 studies comparing sleep and its effect on obesity. The researchers concluded that short sleep duration was linked to obesity in children and young adults.

In my experience with working with thousands of people over the last 15 years, I have witnessed a clear connection between getting adequate sleep and achieving a lean, athletic body that you are proud of.

Many times the root of the problem has more to do with restoring health than it does with achieving aesthetic change. What I have found is that when a client can not sleep there is usually some sort of underlying health condition that needs to be looked at. Getting a physical and working with a physician who is trained in functional or integrative medicine is my recommendation. Going to a doctor who is going to give you a prescription for a sleeping pill is merely slapping a dirty band-aid on an already infected wound. I have seen clients and friends suffer from the side effects of these drugs just as much and sometimes more so than the side effects of sleep deprivation.

“It is easy to get a thousand prescriptions but hard to get one single remedy.”
~Chinese Proverb

Find someone who is going to look beyond medication.

To find a quality practitioner check the Institute of Functional Medicine here

There are no short cuts. Achieving physical greatness requires the right combination of Physical Training, Effective Eating, Quality Sleep and Mental Conditioning.

You must take 100% responsibility for your own health and appearance.

Never delegate it to anyone. Always learn, study and work with the best of the best. A great physician will enjoy challenging and intelligent questions. A mediocre physician will resent them. It’s a simple test to see where your doctor ranks.

Bottom line

Adequate Sleep = Less Fat, More Muscle, Greater Energy and Vitality