Question – I’m on insulin and overweight, can sleeping fewer hours aid in weight loss?
Answer – Sleep is not a time when your body rests. Your body does things while you sleep that it can’t do when you’re awake, including recycling dead and dying cells. Researchers have recently discovered a hormone that is released only when you sleep and helps reduce inflammation. Sleep is an active time for your hormones even if not for your muscles.
Also, if you feel sleepy and don’t sleep, you will cause your body to release more cortisol. Chronic release of cortisol increases blood glucose and breaks down muscle while allowing fat to be stored. Lack of sleep is a stressor, and when it becomes chronic, is a common reason my clients stay fat even when they eat well.
Activity will reduce visceral fat, which is insulin sensitive, and surrounds your organs. But this isn’t the fat you see. Subcutaneous fat is the stuff you can grab, is more insulin resistant, and it responds to diet not activity.
If you’re Type II, talk to your doctor about reducing or getting off insulin through a low carb diet. Many doctors are becoming educated on the fact that taking insulin requires you to eat even more carbs only to maintain the medicine. If you don’t eat carbs, you don’t need insulin. Even if you’re Type I you can reduce your meds. Study after study is showing the value of diet vs medication.