Add a Nice Helping of Sleep to your Diet

You will be surprised to find out the impact sleep has on your fitness goals.

By Joe Castignani

It is common knowledge that diet and exercise have large impacts on our physical fitness and mental health. This connection seems so obvious to us that it goes without saying. Now, what if we told you that sleep had a similar impact on our health and fitness?

What is Ghrelin?

Well, it does. Just like eating donuts and watching TV all day will deteriorate our health and fitness, neglecting our sleep hygiene has a similar effect. In fact, sleep deprivation increases our bodies’ production of a hormone called Ghrelin. Also known as the “hunger hormone,” Ghrelin actually increases our desire to eat by around 30%. In other words, sleep deprivation encourages binge eating.

In a study conducted by the University of Chicago’s General Clinical Resource Center, conclusions were drawn that sleep deprivation reduces our bodies’ ability to burn fat by 55%. FIFTY-FIVE PERCENT! If we are trying to lose weight or just want to feel healthier, being mindful of our sleeping habits will significantly improve our progress. As Plamen Penev, the director of this study and professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, says, “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.”

What We Have Learned

So, what have we learned? Living in a state of sleep deprivation increases our binge eating desires, and it impairs our bodies’ ability to burn fat by 55%. If our ambitions are to improve our health and fitness, neglecting our sleep hygiene will undermine much of the hard work we are putting in.

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Dream big, work hard, sleep ambitiously.
Joe Castignani