Sleep and Weight Loss

Sometimes you feel sleepy at your workplace and become tempted to reach for comfort foods for a quick and small shot of energy. Then you skip gym and return to home with no intention to cook. You finally rush to bed because you’re too wound up now to sleep. But this is a vicious cycle. Unfortunately, this sleep deprivation will negatively influence your waistline. It will also pose threat to your health.

It’s a proven fact now that being short on sleep seriously affects a person’s body weight. If the body is not in sleeping mode it becomes a good condition for weight gain. There are many studies and research done already in this regard that demonstrates this crucial fact that sleep is one of the major cause of weight gain.


Sleep and Human Brain

Depriving the brain from adequate amount of sleep, results in bad decision-making. Eventually your brain’s frontal lobe activity becomes dull. Also, the decision-making process and your control on impulse deteriorate. You lose mental clarity before making a good decision. An overtired brain always looks for something that feels good. Moreover, a sleepy brain craves for junk food and at the same time also lack the impulse control.


Sleep-Diet Connection

There is a very interesting connection between sleeping habit and diet. There are hormones that are known as nightly hormones. These hormones have actions that can affect our ability to lose weight. But the production and dispersion of these hormones are hugely influenced by sleep. These two hormones are known as Ghrelin and Leptin.

The hormone called Ghrelin is the ‘go’ hormone. This hormone tells a person when to eat. Now if you are sleep-deprived, Ghrelin hormone’s amount will increase in your body. On the other hand, Leptin is that hormone which is responsible for stopping your eating habit. Your sleep deprivation will cause the level of Leptin to decline. Therefore, more Ghrelin and less Leptin cause weight gain. Sleep deprivation will lead you to overeating and gain extra kilograms. This is the reason Ghrelin and Leptin are known as Hunger Hormones.


Sleep, Stress and Body Metabolism

There is another hormone in your body called Cortisol, which is responsible for stress in your body. Stress causes weight gain. This stress hormone is influenced by your sleeping pattern.  The high Cortisol spike is the result from too little sleep. This stress hormone Cortisol signals the body to conserve energy. This energy is spent as fuel for your waking hours.

Sleep deprivation also slows down your total body metabolism. Insufficient amount of sleeping reduces your body’s capability to process another important hormone called Insulin. This hormone is vital to change starches, sugar, and other foods into energy inside your body. If the body does not respond properly to insulin, then the body has trouble processing fat materials from bloodstream. The result is that you store more fat and weight inside your body. So, little sleep will hamper your body metabolism. At the same time, it will contribute to your weight gain.


Sleep-Weight Loss Solution

Most of the research indicates that a person should spend at least 7.5 hours on average for sleeping every day. Therefore, you’ve to make sure that you can arrange that amount of time. But snoozing is difficult in today’s world. Unfortunately essential electronic devices such as cell phones, computers, TVs, tablets play a major role to keep you awake while in fact it is time to have sound sleep.

What you can do is to follow some rules on regular basis. These are as follows:

  1. Before going to bed, make a habit of shutting down personal computer, cell phone, and television set at least an hour ago.
  2. Keep your bedroom only for bedroom’s purpose. At the beginning of sleeping, try to think about relaxation and release. Avoid thinking about work or entertainment.
  3. Try to create your bedtime ritual. During bedtime, you shouldn’t make time to tackle those big issues. Rather you can take warm bath, read something, or, even meditate.
  4. Maintain a schedule. Try to wake up and retire at the same times each day. Do this on weekends as well.
  5. Eat on time. You’ve to avoid eating heavy meals, alcohol before bedtime. Otherwise, these things may cause you heartburn. The whole situation will make it very hard to fall asleep. Also, you need to keep distance from soda, coffee, tea, and chocolate close to your bed time. Caffeine within tea or coffee actually stays in blood stream for 5 to 6 hours. This is bad for your sleeping.
  6. Switch off all sources of light. Your body is mostly comfortable with darkness. This environment will help to release a natural sleep hormone called Melatonin. Light source suppresses this hormone.

Last update: February 19, 2017 02:53:22 pm

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