Sleep, or more specifically not getting enough of it, inevitably leads to gaining weight, as we all know. Not getting sufficient rest negatively affects the effects of our diet and the hormones that control the fat cells, increases the appetite and weakens our resistance to working out. All these things can and will lead, in time, to gaining unwanted weight.
For today’s article we have picked a rather interesting subject. We will be discussing the ways in which the quality of our sleep affects our weight, and how you can use this to your advantage.
Lack of sleep has a negative impact on our diet
Getting less than seven hours of sleep per night can reduce or totally eliminate the beneficial effects of a weight loss diet, no matter how good it is. When your body does not get enough rest, the fat loss process slows down significantly, even if you’re on a weight loss diet. Furthermore, if you don’t sleep enough you’ll quickly begin to notice that your energy levels are way lower when working out.
Insufficient sleep can affect fat cells
When our organisms do not get enough rest, this can also heavily affect our metabolism. As little as four days of insufficient sleep are enough to have a negative effect on the body’s ability to use insulin. When insulin functions in normal parameters, fat cells can easily remove fatty acids and lipids from the blood and prevent them from setting in. However, when we become resistant to insulin, our blood lipids produce more insulin, and this excess leads to the fat storing in wrong places, such as the liver tissues. This is a quick recipe to gain a lot of unwanted weight, and it can also lead to more complicated conditions, such as diabetes.
Lack of sleep increases your appetite
Most people believe that hunger can be controlled just by a strong will to resist. In theory, this statement is true. Hunger is controlled by two hormones: leptin and ghrelin.
Leptin is found in fat cells, and the more this hormone is produced, the more the stomach feels emptier. And vice versa, the more ghrelin gets produced, the more the hunger is stimulated, while reducing the amount of calories burned and increasing fat storage. In other words, leptin and ghrelin are two factors that must be properly controlled in order to lose weight, but unfortunately sleeplessness makes this impossible. Getting less than six hours of sleep per night impacts the brain processes that increase the hunger sensation.
In addition, sleep insufficiently increases the level of cortisol, a stress hormone commonly associated with weight gain. Cortisol activates the brain receptors responsible for the reward circuitry on motivating us to eat, and at the same time, lack of sleep makes our organisms produce more ghrelin. A combination of large amounts of ghrelin and cortisol blocks the areas of the brain that provide the feeling of satiety, which leads to the constant feeling of hunger, even after a copious meal.