Studies show that when we are deprived of adequate sleep two things can happen, and these can have a big impact on your weight. In fact, sleep affects weight loss, so if you aren’t getting the right amount, your weight loss could stall.
1) Increase in Appetite
When sleep deprived, your body produces more of the hormone cortisol. Studies prove it is one of the hormones that control our appetite.
The more cortisol in your system, the hungrier you are. It can get so serious that even when you are full, you feel hungry.
Of course, this can lead to overeating and weight gain.
Cortisol is also produced when we are under stress. It is manufactured by our body when we feel threatened.
This is the fight or flight syndrome.
If you are under a lot of stress while you are awake, and you don’t get adequate sleep at night, that can really throw your cortisol levels out of whack.
2) Increase in Body Fat
Of course, if you are eating more calories than you burn, you are going to gain weight. Much of which will be body fat. However, that may not be all that is causing you to gain weight.
The other offender could be a reduced rate of metabolism. This the number of calories you burn each day. Sleep deprivation impedes the body’s ability to burn carbohydrates. This can lead to high blood sugar.
This, in turn, causes excess secretion of insulin which can lead to an increase in body fat. So now only are you eating more than you should, your body is not burning it at the rate it should. This is a double-whammy as far as gaining weight.
This is also why you are not sleeping as much as you should.
Now we know why sufficient sleep is so important to our weight loss efforts, but what causes us to not sleep enough? Most of our sleep loss is caused by sleep apnea, being overweight and insomnia.
Sleep Apnea: Sleep apnea is a medical condition where your breathing stops and starts up to hundreds of times per night without you even knowing it.
Even though you are not physically waking up, your body is and as a result, you are not getting the sleep you should.
Obesity: When you weigh more than you should, it can be hard to find a comfortable position to sleep. As a result, you end up being awake more than you should.
Also, if you have not replaced your mattress within the last eight years, you are due for a new one. That alone could help you sleep better as it will support you better than your old one, thus allowing for a more and normal sleep cycle.
Insomnia: If you are worried about something at work or a family member, you won’t sleep as much or as well as you should. In time, this takes a toll on your body and as we know, can sabotage your weight loss efforts.
Since sleep affects weight loss, getting an adequate amount of sleep is just as important to your weight loss efforts as is the food you eat and exercise you get.
If you are sleep deprived and can’t figure out the cause, see your healthcare professional to find some solutions.