The link between Sleep and Weight loss

if you are trying to lose weight but the scale wont budge, you might want to look at you sleep habits. Beyond just eating well balanced diet and exercising regularly, sleep is also one of the most important aspect of your over all health. There is growing evidence that insuffient or poor quality sleep is a new risk factor for the development of obesity and its complications.

Link between lack of sleep and weight gain

Insufficient sleep can cause problem with hormones that help control our appetite and also has impact on our food choices. Sleep deprivation may result in people consuming more calories during the following day, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis. People who slept less than 5 hours consumed an average of 550 more calories the following day as reported by researchers.

There are more than 100 hormones in the human body, but two of them play a leading role in managing your daily hungry levels: ghrelin and leptin.

Leptin is a hormone that suppresses the desire to eat, stimulates the metabolic rate, and helps with long-term energy in the body. Leptin’s counterpart hormone, ghrelin, is secreted by the stomach and increases the desire to eat.  It also enters the bloodstream on its way to the hypothalamus. Lack of sleep or short sleep duration has been found to trigger increased levels of ghrelin and decreased levels of leptin, leading to increased hunger and appetite.

Lack of sleep also increases the risk of insulin resistance as insufficient sleep cause insulin sensitivity to drop by 30%. An excess of glucose ends up being converted into fatty acids and these fatty acids are stored in different parts of body especially around the belly.

How to sleep better

  • A regular sleep Routine: Regular sleep pattern may also help in improving sleep quality and duration. Waking up and going to the bed at the same times each day improves our wakeup/sleep cycle.
  • Bedroom Environment Minimize noises, external light exposure. Try to make your sleeping environment quiet, relaxing and clean.
  • Avoid eating a large meal before bed this cause the body metabolism to slow down and make it harder to fall a sleep. Avoid eating foods that are spicy and fatty as they are tough for the stomach and may disturb sleep. Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol and caffeine before going to bed.
  • No electronics before bedtime stop using elecronic gadgets (cell phones, laptops, tv) 30 minutes before going to bed. Smartphone light distrub production of Melatonin a chemical produced by our brain, which plays a vital role in regulating sleep-wake cycles.
  • Regular physical activity According to National sleep foundation, people who exercise regularly have better sleep than those who do not. Some other studies suggested that exercise increases body temperature and increases production of Adenosine a chemical which causes drowsiness and improves circadian rhythm.

How to get more and good quality sleep

Download a printable pdf version of gettinga good night sleep infographic

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