Sleep well to lose weight

If lack of sleep figures among your lifestyle habits, then it could possibly be the reason for the elevated readings on your weighing scale and added inches on your waistline!! 

Yes, it might sound like a weird connection but extensive researches on the subject have substantially smoldered the link between sleep and weight. Scientific evidence points out that the quantity and the quality of sleep has a remarkable influence on the hormonal activity related to our appetite and eating behavior, and hence an influence on our body weight. 

Understanding the sleep and hormonal activity connection 

Studies conducted on the appetite controlling hormones leptin and ghrelin show that their production might be influenced by how much or how little we sleep.The hormones in question-leptin and ghrelin work in a kind of “regulate and balance” system to control feelings of hunger and fullness. Ghrelin, which is produced in the gastrointestinal tract, stimulates appetite, while leptin, produced in fat cells stimulate the feelings of satiety by sending a signal to the brain when you are full.

So what’s the connection to sleep? When you don’t get enough sleep, your leptin levels go down and you don’t experience the feeling of fullness, even after eating a full meal. Lack of sleep also causes ghrelin levels to rise, which means your appetite is stimulated and your desire to eat more increases.

The two aforementioned factors combined together can set the stage for overeating, which in turn may lead to weight gain, sabotaging your weight loss efforts.

In a joint project between Stanford and the University of Wisconsin — about 1,000 volunteers were asked to report the number of hours they slept each night. Doctors then measured their levels of ghrelin and leptin, and also charted their weight. The results showed that those who slept less than eight hours a night not only had lower levels of leptin and higher levels of ghrelin, but also a higher level of body fat. Interestingly, the level of body fat seemed to correlate with their sleep patterns and those who slept the fewest hours per night weighed the most. 

So, in nutshell, lack of adequate sleep may- 

a.       Make you feel hungry even if you are full. As a result, individuals with sleep problems may continue to feel hungry despite adequate food intake.

b.      Increase fat storage. Lack of sleep may interfere with the body’s ability to metabolize carbohydrates leading to elevated blood sugar levels, overproduction of insulin and storage of body fat.

c.       Lead to water retention and slowing down of metabolism, hence the difficulty to lose and maintain weight.

The solution is simple: Sleep well to lose weight.

Adjust your sleep habits along with your eating pattern to lose weight effectively!Happy zzzzzzzzing!!


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