‘A good night’s rest’ and ‘beauty sleep’ are both applicable to those struggling with weight loss and skincare problems. While we will discuss the latter at length some other time, let’s focus on how obsessing over your weight is keeping you up at night, and creating a cyclical problem where the lesser shut-eye you get, the slower your pounds come off.

In a generic sense, as you age, you need fewer hours of rest, but the same rule does not apply to those who live active lifestyles (including folks who workout or exercise for about an hour every day).

For your body to recover from the activity, repair muscle tissue and restore strength, it needs about 7-8 hours of uninterrupted rest at night time—and no, this cannot be substituted by afternoon naps.

This will help maintain a healthy physical and mental state, as a sleep-deprived body wreaks havoc on our hormones. These namely are cortisol, ghrelin and leptin, the smooth functioning of which depends on the amount of sleep you get.

When in a state of unregulated fatigue, the body produces more cortisol and ghrelin, while depleting leptin. Cortisol is a stress hormone known to entice the reward sectors of the brain that yearn food. Ghrelin tells your body when to eat, and leptin hormones on the other hand tell your body when to stop eating.

The imbalance will result in cravings for large helpings of carbohydrates and caffeine without a sense of control. If you somehow manage to hold your own against this food tussle, then the slow metabolic rate will come and haunt your body. This leads to an increase in fat storage, raises blood sugar, and over produces insulin in the body.

Last, but not the least, you will notice a significant drop in your zealousness to complete a workout due to the exhaustion and exertion your body is experiencing internally. High intensity routines will seem cumbersome, and muscle soreness will become a recurring problem.

Who knew a few hours of nap time were such an integral part of weight loss? Well, now you do, so if you find yourself stagnating and are at your wits end about those last 10lb, it’s time to evaluate your sleeping patterns and fix the problem.

Read More:
Did You Know? You Just Dropped 2 Pounds
Don’t Stress; You’ll Get Fatter!
Why 45 Minutes Is The Optimal Workout Duration

Nisha Gulati is a fitness expert and model originally hailing from New Jersey, USA. She is a certified Bikram Hot Yoga and Ashtanga Vinyasa Instructor, health and fitness columnist for Hyderabad’s widely read B Positive Magazine, a trained Bharatnatyam, Odissi, Bhangra, and giddha dancer. She also has trained in Kalaripayattu a martial arts form in Kerala. Yoga has been a source of great discipline, inspiration and positivity for Nisha who has been teaching at studios in Mumbai India, Phuket Thailand, Marina Dubai and Vancouver Canada.