July 18, 2012

How Sleep Affects Your Weight

Worldwide experiments show that sleep deprivation can be one of the factors contributing to weight gain. When you do not sleep for the required number of hours at night, you will run low on energy. As a result, you feel sleepy at work, which instantly tempts you for one or more cups of hot coffee, and a doughnut or a hot burger for triggering that energy shot. Later, it may so happen that you skip the gym and reach home by taking some food for your family, because you have no time to cook owing to overwork. Finally, you sleep late at night that deprives of adequate sleep.

Well, this is a vicious cycle that hits you with continuous sleep deprivation, which sooner or later interferes with your waistline and your health although you might have no intention of doing so. One begins to snack with no fear on putting on weight to keep sleepiness at bay during the daytime, but by doing this he or she does not realize that the body is being fed with unwanted calories due to poor eating habits such as coffee, doughnuts, and wafers. This ultimately results in obesity and further fosters sleep loss.

man fast asleep

Reasons behind Weight Gain due to Sleep Deprivation According to the studies found in ‘The Journal of the American Medical Association’, loss of sleep might influence directly the hunger of an individual the next day. The findings have revealed that lack of sleep at night makes one crave for food due to the increased production of the cortisol hormone. Now, this hormone is secreted under the situation of stress, and is accountable for stimulating hunger.

Another reason could be the erratic and sudden changes in the level of the leptin hormone that suppresses appetite, and grehlin that triggers the feeling of hunger. When a person does not have adequate sleep, lower leptin levels coupled with higher grehlin levels result in increased cravings for energy foods.

So, as a result of deprived sleep, one tends to eat more than the normal quantity of food the following day. This overeating certainly leads to increased blood sugar levels as well as insulin production to boost the storage of surplus body fat. Additionally, lack of sleep may also directly affect the basal metabolic rate (the rate at which one burns the number of calories at rest), which interferes with the natural ability to lose weight. Furthermore, sleep deprivation can also lead to reduced levels of growth hormone that is a protein substance regulating the proportions of muscle and fat.

Even in young and fit people, lack of sleep of three to four hours over a week has a whooping effect on the body in terms of weight. As per the National Sleep Foundation, on an average, a woman obtains only 6.5 hours of sleep at night, which can result in chronic sleep deprivation that can adversely affect metabolism and overall health.

Measures to Avoid Sleep Deficit It is recommended to sleep for 7- 9 hours everyday. For good sleep at night, Mayo Clinic recommends to take a warm shower, perform yoga stretches, or listen to soothing music before bedtime. Well, it’s high time to see to it that you sleep enough at night to avoid weight loss problems!

Author Bio: Marguerite being a fitness enthusiast loves to blog on fitness and topics related to fitness. 

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  1. Suhasi11:01 AM

    Sleep affects your metabolism which can affect your weight.

  2. Milind11:01 AM

    if u sleep in the afternoon after having your lunch then u may gain weight otherwise if u sleep a lot at night then i think it may increase weight


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