Can Lack Of Sleep Interfere With Your Weight Loss?
Working out to lose weight - great! Working day and night, then working out, sacrificing sleep, all this just to lose weight - bad idea. To put it un-simply, if you sleep less, you gain weight, and if you sleep more, you gain weight too. Now the question is, WHY?A lack of sleep is associated with many things – impaired judgement, lacklustre skin, even a low sex drive…but did you know that it can drive a wedge between you and your weight loss efforts as well? Recent studies show that sleeping less than five hours, or more than nine hours, can cause weight gain.
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Desire for sugar – If you haven’t slept long enough or well enough, your body will crave sugar. It’s easy to have that big bowl of cereal for breakfast, or half a bar of chocolate while working, because you are low on energy. Sleep deprivation also makes the mitochondria in your cells shut down. So digestion doesn’t happen very well, and sugar remains in the body. This can spike your blood sugar levels, increasing your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Comfort food craving – Sleep loss makes you crave for comfort food, which is conventionally high-fat and high-carbohydrate, so that the ‘feel good’ chemical serotonin can step in, and make you feel better.
Less energy – If you are fatigued, you probably won’t have the energy to go to exercise, lessening physical activity.
Hormonal issues – Two hormones, ghrelin and leptin, can contribute a lot to weight gain, when we are sleep deprived. Ghrelin tells us when to eat, while leptin tells us when to stop. When we haven’t had enough sleep, the amount of ghrelin in our body increases, while leptin decreases. Also, the more sleep-deprived you are, the more your body produces cortisol, increasing your appetite.
Slowed Metabolism – While you might think that a lack of sleep is making your metabolism behave like a cranky child, what actually happens is that poor sleep makes your body think you are in danger. It goes into preservation mode, slowing your metabolism down.
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If you otherwise work out regularly, your muscles also need time to repair themselves. If you don’t sleep well, this process can be interfered with.
When you’re sleepy, not only are you more attracted towards high-calorie foods, but you also have lesser control over your impulses, so it’s more likely that you will eat that bowl of chocolate ice cream…with chocolate syrup, perhaps? And maybe a few jujubes on top? Mmmm…