On The Table

A collection of knowledge-based articles to inspire overall wellness.

Sleep and Metabolism: How Napping Can Affect Your Metabolism

Whether reserved solely to toddlers or their correlation to laziness, the stereotypes surrounding naps can be quite negative. However, sufficient nightly sleep and daily naps not only donate large benefits to mental wellbeing, but may contribute to physical health and facilitate weight loss. So if concerned if sleeping in the afternoon increases weight, rest assured... Napping may just help you lose it!

Sleep and Metabolism: How Napping Can Affect Your Metabolism

Can Napping Change Your Metabolism?

With metabolism mostly affected by muscle mass and hormones, napping may be able to alter it for the better. A 20-minute nap is touted as the prime napping time, as anything offer 30 minutes can cause you to ironically feel more tired and groggy upon waking. But after an effective power nap, metabolism and weight can be benefited by...

...increasing energy to workout.
Trying to hit the gym when tired can be a lost cause. Even if you did make it there, giving it your all when energy is limited may lead to a subpar workout. But having the extra power following your nap can transpire into a beneficial workout, ultimately leading to muscle gains and calorie burns.

...controlling hormones.
Minimizing feelings of tiredness can in turn control hunger hormones, also known as leptin and ghrelin. The duo works together to control appetite, as ghrelin stimulates hunger while leptin induces satiety. If they become uncontrolled, ghrelin may overpower leptin, ultimately causing a dominating appetite and increasing risk of excessive food intake.

But rather than sleeping to lose weight, embrace the benefits of napping for wellness! The power of naps has shown to improve mood, heighten concentration levels, develop adequate sleeping patterns, strengthen interpersonal relationships, and promote a greater physical and mental well-being overall.

How to Change Your Metabolism

Although sleep is a critical component of health, metabolism is changed mostly through exercise and diet, primarily in hopes to lose fat mass while gaining lean muscle. Though changing your metabolism takes time and effort, the following advises are proven to be highly beneficial:

• Build Muscle
Even when the body is at rest, it is constantly burning calories, with metabolic rates much higher in people with greater muscle mass. In fact, every pound of muscle requires approximately six calories a day to purely sustain itself, while each pound of fat burns only two calories daily! Develop muscle, increase strength, and scorch fat with bistroMD's full body kettlebell workout!

• High-Intensity Interval Training
Also known as tabata, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) focuses on maximum exertion in sporadic intervals. The short bursts of intensive movement not only burns calories in the moment, but contributes to that notorious "afterburn effect." Also formally known as excess post exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), the afterburn effect is simply the burning of calories following rigorous exercise. Find a full-body tabata workout here.

• Stay Hydrated
Water is the medium in which calories are able to convert to usable energy from ingested foods. And since thirst is oftentimes mistaken for hunger, staying hydrated can lessen the likelihood of gravitating to the kitchen while fostering an efficient metabolism. Healthy men and women are advised to drink at least eight, 8-ounce glasses of water per day and can be easily achieved with these four hacks!

• Consume Protein
Protein is mostly known for its imperative role in muscle synthesis, supporting lean body mass to innately boost metabolism, especially following a strength or resistance training workout. In addition to these 11 different sources of lean protein to maintain muscle and lose fat, whole grains, fruits and veggies, and healthy fats should comprise a well-balanced diet.

Along with the beneficial metabolic gains of consuming a well-balanced diet and increasing activity levels, achieving adequate sleep and managing stress is also advised. Feeling tired and stressed has shown to disrupt metabolic patterns and cause hormones to go haywire, including insulin to become resistant, a risk factor of diabetes and obesity. Certain health conditions, including hypo- and hyperthyroidism, can directly impact metabolic speed, while the side effects of medications may cause weight gain. A primary care doctor and dietitian can help advise a lifestyle plan to best fit your personal needs and goals.