How Sleep Affects Weight Loss
Many of us struggle to lose weight, but the problem may have nothing to do with your willpower or diet. In fact, a lack of sleep may be derailing your weight loss efforts considerably. Not getting enough sleep can seriously affect your brain, making it harder to stick to a weight loss plan. Poor sleep can also wreak havoc on your body’s ability to regulate hormones effectively.
How Sleep Affects Weight Loss
Fewer hours of sleep has been proven to result in weight gain and obesity. Not everyone requires the same amount of sleep, but everyone should be aiming for around seven hours of sleep a night to maintain a healthy weight. Sleep deprivation has been linked to increased incidences of obesity in adults and child alike. Long-term sleep loss can significantly increase your chance of piling on body weight. However, insufficient sleep over a shorter period of time can also lead to you gaining body mass, regardless of your food intake. The problem is that weight gain can make existing sleep disorders worse. Putting on weight can worsen things like sleep apnea, making it even harder to enjoy some quality shut-eye.
How Sleep Deprivation Affects Appetite
Shorter sleep duration an also lead to increased appetites. Quality sleep is important when it comes to hormone regulation, namely leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is released from fat cells directly, signalling to the brain that you are feeling full, thereby suppressing hunger. Ghrelin is released from the stomach itself when the organ is empty, letting your brain know you require sustenance and leaving you feeling hungry. Poor sleep disrupts the body’s ability to properly release these hormones, increasing the levels of ghrelin in your system, while suppressing your leptin levels. This results in you always feeling hungry.
Less sleep also tends to drive cravings for unhealthy foods, rendering the frontal lobe more inactive. This makes it harder to choose healthier foods with fewer calories, which is a significant problem if you are looking to achieve good fat loss results. Those suffering from sleep deprivation will also find the reward centres of their brain more stimulated than someone enjoy a good night’s sleep. This gain make sit more likely you will choose to consume fatty foods that are high in calories and carbohydrates.
Benefits of Better Sleep
Not getting enough sleep obviously leaves you feeling exhausted in the morning. Not only will you have to deal with a general feeling of lethargy, you will also struggle to stay active and exercise correctly. As a rule, the more hours of sleep you enjoy, the more active you will feel in the day. Your general responsiveness and reaction times will be improved, allowing you to undertake more rigorous exercise and physical activity to help you shift excess pounds and stay within a healthy weight range.
Maintaining a proper sleep schedule will also help you overcome issues like insulin resistance. A few nights of poor quality sleep is all it takes for your body to start suffering from insulin resistance. Excess levels of insulin in your bloodstream not only leads to increased appetite, but will also trigger your body into storing more of your calorific intake as fat. This leads to weight can, but can also result in more serious issues like type 2 diabetes.
While consuming a healthy diet and maintaining a regular exercise routine are of course important to losing weight, you should never overlook how pivotal a good night’s sleep is to keeping your weight in check. Suffering from poor sleep can have detrimental effects on the brain, increasing your appetite and impeding your self control.