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Lack of sleep and too much stress can curb a fat-loss program. Extra sleep is necessary if one is on a diet and strength training. Efficient fat loss and muscle building both require a rested recover ability.


How much ‘Sleep’ is enough?

A typical adult averages seven-and-a-half hours’ sleep, however studies showed that it is not the length of sleep that causes an individual to be refreshed, but the number of sleep cycles that are completed.
It is estimated that a sleep cycle lasts 90 minutes out of which 65minutes are normal sleep, 20 minutes rapid-eye-movement sleep (when one dreams) and a final 5 minutes of normal sleep. Closely monitored sleeping patterns revealed that, on average, these occur after multiples of one-and-a-half hours. In the period between cycles the individual is not actually sleeping --- this period has been described as a ‘twilight zone’ from which, if left undisturbed, the individual progresses to another one-and-a-half hour cycle.
It has also been found that a person who sleeps only 4 cycles, or 6 hours, feels more rested than another who sleeps 10 hours, but who has been awaken before being allowed to finish any one cycle.
Researchers advise a ‘sleep’ plan in multiples of one-and-a-half hours, making sure that one gets enough of it to maximize fat loss and strength building. They recognize that sleep regulates body temperature, replenishes the immune system and yields hormones that facilitate fat loss and strength building.
Optimum recovery ability, which involves the chemical reaction necessary for the body to get leaner and stronger, is dependent on adequate rest and sufficient time.
A nap of 15 to 30 minutes, at the right time, ideally between 12 noon and 3pm, can also help the individual recover and recharge for the remainder of the day.
Sleep and Stress
The relationship between lack of sleep and stress in an individual’s life has long been established. With a better quality sleep, an individual can cope more with stress, and dealing with stress in a productive way allows the individual sleep better.
Excessive stress can pose hurdles in the progression of a fat loss program. Physical stresses hereunder can cause your body to hold on to fat:
  • A very low-calorie diet: under 1,200 calories a day for men and under 1,000 calories a day for women
  • Two little dietary fat: less than 30 grams a day for men and 20 grams a day for women
  • Too much strength training and other types of exercise
  • Too little sleep: less than six hours per night
  • Dehydration
  • Excessive heat: high levels of heat in the environment can reduce the body’s efficiency
  • Accumulated problems about work or relationships can also have negative effects
  • Sickness, drugs can have an effect too