There’s a close connection between how much you sleep and how much you weigh. According to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for 2015-16, 71.6 percent of American adults are overweight. And it’s not just due to poor diet or a lack of exercise either; sleep deprivation has a significant role to play in one’s weight. People who don’t get good sleep tend to pile on the pounds more than those who do. A Nurses’ Health Study saw around 68,000 women followed for a period of 16 years. Those who slept for 5 hours or less had a 15 percent higher risk of developing obesity while those who slept for 6 hours had only 6 percent risk.
If you find yourself reaching out for food when sleep eludes you, don’t be surprised. Poor sleep messes up the levels of hunger hormones and increases body mass index (BMI). The hormone leptin is what tells your brain when you’ve had enough to eat and when it should start using calories. When you sleep, leptin levels rise so that you don’t feel hungry.
Another hormone called ghrelin works the opposite way by telling your body when it should eat and when it should stop using calories. During sleep, this appetite-stimulant decreases and you don’t feel the need to eat. When you don’t get enough sleep, however, both hormones become imbalanced. Leptin slows down, and ghrelin rises. Your body thinks you need food and stops burning calories in order to store it. Good sleep keeps these hormones working as they should so that you burn energy and only eat when you have to.
Diet plans and pills abound but there’s one that not many know of and fewer put into practice: getting enough sleep. In a study, two groups of overweight people were put on calorie-restricted diets for 2 weeks. One group had about 8 hours of sleep each night and the other had just 5 hours. Those who slept more burned fat more than those who didn’t. In addition, their bodies produced more ghrelin, which made them hungrier.
A good night’s sleep leaves you feeling energized the next morning. You’re ready to take on the day and accomplish what you have to, including exercise, to keep weight in check. Poor sleep, on the other hand, can cause excessive daytime sleepiness and exhaustion where all you want to do is sleep and little else. You’ll find it difficult to stay physically active which could cause weight gain.
Did you know that how you sleep can affect your shopping habits? New research published in the journal Obesity has shown that not getting enough sleep can compel you to make poor food choices that can lead to weight gain. In the study, 14 healthy men with normal weight were asked to get a full night’s sleep followed by one night of sleep deprivation. They were then asked to buy food from a grocery list containing 20 low-calorie items and 20 high-calorie ones. The participants purchased more high-calorie foods after being sleep deprived. Their ‘hunger hormone’ levels were also tested after the sleep-deprived night and were found to be on the high side.
Having a regular sleep-wake routine helps keep how much you eat in check. There’s a simple reason behind this – there’s simply not much time to eat. However, the longer you stay up, the more time you have to snack, and this could cause weight gain. For some people, a lack of sleep could also lead them to crave junk food, which as we all know, is unhealthy and fattening. In a study conducted by the University of Arizona Health Sciences, over 3,000 adults were asked if they regularly ate a night-time snack and if lack of sleep made them crave junk food. 60 percent said they snacked at night while two-thirds said lack of sleep increased their junk food cravings.
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Good sleep doesn’t just help you lose weight. It also keeps your heart healthy, blood sugar levels down, and improves memory and learning skills. You can enjoy better sleep by incorporating a few changes in your day-to-day life. Try to stick to a sleep-wake routine and avoid sleeping in on the weekends. Expose yourself to bright light in the day and avoid looking at blue light from phone and laptop screens at night. You should also use comfortable pillows and a good mattress so that your body is properly supported.
Nuvanna is an innovatively designed mattress created by an industry expert with more than two decades of experience. Its triple-layered construction features layers that perform different functions. The top layer cools the body using phase-changing gel particles that disperse heat. The middle layer absorbs motion so that you and your partner don’t disturb each other when you move. The bottom layer provides support to individual body parts and keeps the length of the spine aligned, preventing backaches and helping you sleep well.
Obesity is on the rise, and there are many reasons for this. Sedentary lifestyles, changing eating habits, and increasing portion sizes are some of the factors to blame. Along with these, shorter sleep times and lack of quality sleep help put on pounds. If you want to keep your weight in check, start by trying to get good sleep. Create a bedroom environment that induces sleep so that when you come home from a long day, you find yourself drifting off to sleep when you hit the bed.