“Researchers found that when dieters cut back on sleep over a 14-day period, the amount of weight they lost from fat dropped by 55%, even though their calories stayed equal. … So it’s not so much that if you sleep, you’ll lose weight, but that too little sleep hampers your metabolism and contributes to weight gain.” WebMD Jul 30, 2016
It’s a little known fact that sleep deprivation can prevent weight loss. To make matters even worse it actually promotes weight gain!
How? Simply put when your body is deprived of sleep if it comes metabolically sluggish. The ability to produce insulin – A hormone responsible for taking carbohydrates (sugars) out of the bloodstream and putting it where it needs to go – is reduced. As a matter of fact, Insulin sensitivity is reduced by 30%.
If your body’s ability to produce insulin is compromised, the sugars for your bloodstream are more likely to end up being stored as fat.
To make matters worse sleep deprivation makes your brain groggy. Our ability to make decisions is compromised and our brains crave more sugar. Our feedback reward system goes out of whack and we start to seek rewards elsewhere. That’s partially why you get hungry at night.
You’re also awake more hours of the day. There are more opportunities to eat and you will get hungry or throughout those long hours. When we’re tired we tend to make poor choices and eat larger portions. Hence one piece of cake turns into two!
Even worse your body‘s production of cortisol also increases. Cortisol is the hormone partially responsible for hanging onto body fat.
If your cortisol levels go up it’ll be very difficult to lose weight.
As a matter of fact “Researchers found that when dieters cut back on sleep over a 14-day period, the amount of weight they lost from fat dropped by 55%, even though their calories stayed equal. They felt hungrier and less satisfied after meals, and their energy was zapped.” (WebMD)
So what can you do? Get more sleep! Here’s how:
- Find some downtime at night without electronics (including tv).
- Make sure to turn off the lights. Your brain knows to go to sleep when it’s dark.
- Read a book (use a soft night light only) or meditate
- Watch what you eat! Be mindful of making better choices during the day.
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Yours in Health,