According to experts, the habit of taking time from sleep can lead to a gain of extra kilos. Is the opposite true? That is, is it possible to close your eyes and become slimmer? Wouldn’t that be almost too good to believe! If you, too, would like to explore the connection between sleep and weight loss to turn it to your advantage, this article is a must read!
What Does the Research Tell Us?
While obesity is turning into a “worldwide epidemic”, many people suffer from chronic lack of sleep. From year to year there are fewer and fewer people who allow themselves the luxury of sleeping 8 hours a day, and scientists believe that there may be a connection between obesity and sleeping patterns.
For instance, in one study, scientists followed a group of 40-60-year-old women for five to seven years, to record their weight and sleep patterns. Surprisingly, women who reported having trouble falling asleep, had nightmares and other sleep disturbances were more likely to gain “significant weight” – at least 5 kg!
In another study focusing on the nutrition and exercise regimen of a group of young healthy men for two days – after 8 hours and 4 hours of sleep. It was found that men who did not get enough sleep ate much more, adding an average of 560 calories to their daily menu as compared to the quantity of food needed after a decent sleep.
It’s not just adults, children are also affected. Scientists actually think that reducing sleep may greatly increase the risk of childhood obesity. It is even suggested that every additional hour of sleep per day reduces this risk by approximately 9%.
2 Reasons Sleep Affects Diet
First, those who sleep less have less energy during the day and are then less likely to want to exercise regularly. Sleepy people move less compared to those who sleep about 7 hours every night.
Second, the amount of sleep may affect the hormones ghrelin and leptin, which control appetite. This makes you unconsciously move towards foods that are high in carbohydrates and calories. Sleep deprivation can lead to an increase in ghrelin, which stimulates appetite, and a decrease in leptin, which suppresses it. The body tries to replenish its energy reserves, resulting in replenishing its fat stores. Definitely something none of us want!
Did you know that in just four days of sleep deprivation, your body’s ability to properly use insulin (the main storage hormone) is completely disrupted? Researchers at the University of Chicago found that insulin sensitivity dropped by more than 30%.
That’s why it’s bad: when your insulin is working properly, fat cells remove fatty acids and lipids from the bloodstream and stop them from accumulating. When you become more insulin resistant, fats (lipids) circulate in your blood and pump out more insulin. Eventually, this excess of insulin ends up storing fat in all the wrong places, such as tissues like the liver. This may lead to obesity and diseases like diabetes.
Can Sleep Help You Lose Weight?
Regardless of all the evidence supporting the connection between body size and sleep patterns, scientists are still unsure if you can lose weight by increasing your sleep times. Research is ongoing. But, while we wait for the results, it makes sense to train ourselves to get enough sleep – so we can have the energy to live our best life!
Need to get a great night’s sleep?
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