Schlank im Schlaf? Wunschtraum oder Realität?

Slim while you sleep? Pipe dream or reality?

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It is often preached that the golden path to a body that is slim and defined lies mainly in two pillars: training more and eating less. However, what is often forgotten is that the body adapts to its environment. It takes into account the activity level, the nutrients consumed and the time between individual meals. The need for sleep is often underestimated. In our society today, sheer efforts are being made to generally reduce the need for sleep. This is definitely one of the reasons why entire industries related to coffee, energy drinks and the like have been particularly flourishing in recent years.

The negative consequences of chronic sleep deficiency on our health are often completely ignored. Scientifically proven hormonal changes, weakening of the immune system, higher susceptibility to inflammation, stronger stress reactions, high blood pressure, worsening of insulin sensitivity, increased risk of heart attack and, above all, the risk of obesity. In addition, people who sleep fewer hours tend to eat more (due to the longer awake period) while simultaneously losing muscle and gaining fat.

The reason for this lies in the anabolic processes that take place during sleep and which only occur to a reduced extent when there is a sleep deficit. This is probably one reason why populations in developed countries are becoming increasingly obese. During the phases of deep sleep - and only then - the body releases large amounts of growth hormones. Hard training is only now rewarded with muscle growth. Growth hormones not only provide the signal for muscle growth, but also support numerous vital functions. It should also be mentioned that a permanent lack of sleep means stress for our body. This causes the stress hormone cortisol to be released. This in turn breaks down amino acids from the muscles.

How much sleep is enough?

Scientific recommendations are usually based on 6-8 hours of sleep. If you're training more intensively, you should stick to 8 hours.