Do you know being short on sleep can really affect your weight? While you weren’t sleeping, your body cooked up a perfect recipe for weight gain.
Poor sleep isn’t the only factor in weight gain, of course—there are several, including your genetics, your diet and exercise habits, your stress, and your health conditions. But the evidence is overwhelming: when sleep goes down, weight goes up.
The more sleep-deprived you are, the higher your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which increases your appetite.
When you’re overtired, your brain’s reward centres rev up, looking for something that feels good. And it’s not like you’re going to be suddenly ravenous for vegetable salads and green smoothie, either. For me, it takes a bit of willpower to choose the salad over the puff puff when I am sleep deprived.
When you’re short on sleep, you might be tempted to skip exercise (too tired), get fast food for dinner, and then turn in late because you’re uncomfortably full.
A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that when people were starved of sleep, late-night snacking increased, and they were more likely to choose high-carb snacks. In another study, sleep-deprived participants chose snacks with twice as much fat as those who slept at least 8 hours.
Sleep is like food for the brain. Poor sleep affects your body’s ability to process insulin — a hormone needed to change sugar, starches, and other food into energy. Insulin sensitivity drops significantly.
Here’s why that’s bad: When your body doesn’t respond properly to insulin, your body has trouble processing fats from your bloodstream, so it ends up storing them as fat.
Sleep deprivation causes changes to hormones that regulate hunger and appetite. The hormone leptin suppresses appetite and encourages the body to expend energy. Sleep deprivation reduces leptin. The hormone ghrelin, on the other hand, triggers feelings of hunger—and ghrelin goes up when you’re short on sleep. Thus making you more hungry.
How can you overcome sleep deprivation?
It can be hard, but it is possible.
-Shut down your computer, cell phone, and TV at least an hour before you hit the sack.
– Allow your bedroom for sleep and sex.
– While on the bed, take a warm bath, meditate, or read.
– Stick to a schedule, waking up and retiring at the same times every day, even on weekends.
– Watch what and when you eat. Avoid eating heavy meals and alcohol close to bedtime, which may cause heartburn and make it hard to fall asleep. And steer clear of soda, tea, coffee, and chocolate after 2 p.m. Caffeine can stay in your system for 5 to 6 hours.
-Turn out the lights. Darkness helps your body to release the natural sleep hormone melatonin, while light suppresses it.
– Be happy