Our body weight is controlled by a myriad of factors, all related to our lifestyle. One big factor that affects weight loss is sleep. Research suggests that lack of sleep is closely connected to an increase in weight. People who sleep well find it easier to lose and manage their weight. On the other hand, people who sleep poorly or don’t sleep enough usually find themselves gaining weight.
There are several reasons behind the connection that exists between the lack of sleep and weight gain. In this article, we’re going to explore each of them and find out more about the effects of sleep on weight gain.
Let’s dive right in!
1. Lowered Insulin Sensitivity
Insulin is a hormone that helps our body convert sugar and other food into energy. That is why it is an essential factor in keeping us healthy. Studies have shown that people who don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis become insensitive to insulin. Their body’s ability to process insulin declines dramatically by more than 30%.
When the body fails to respond to insulin, it loses its ability to process fats from the blood. This leads to the accumulation of fat in your body. Consequently, the person starts to gain weight.
2. Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms
Have you ever noticed your own habits while being sleep deprived? You most likely rely on coffee and high energy drinks to get through the day. Researchers have found that most people rely on unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with the lack of sleep. When you’re tired after a bad night’s sleep, you’re more likely to skip your daily exercise.
A lack of energy means that you also don’t cook and rely on takeout. All these actions that you take to get through the day on a lack of sleep ultimately contribute to weight gain.
3. Slow Metabolism
When you don’t get the sleep that your body needs to recharge, you’ll notice it is reacting in unusual ways. If your body doesn’t get at least 7 hours of sleep each night, it will become prone to a spike in cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that makes your body conserve energy at night, so it can perform well in the day. As a result, your body doesn’t process fat as it should. Instead, it stores it, and that leads to weight gain.
4. Tendency for Unhealthy Choices
When your body is deprived of sleep, it leads your brain to make bad and unhealthy choices. You’ll have lesser control over your impulsions due to a lack of mental clarity. When your body is overworked due to a lack of sleep, it constantly looks for things that bring instant gratification.
Hence, you’re more likely to succumb to food cravings. People who don’t sleep are more likely to choose high-fat and high-carb foods which make it more difficult to lose weight.
Sleep affects weight gain to a great extent. Moreover, a lack of sleep leads you to make unhealthy choices that are detrimental to your health in the long run. That is why it’s essential to get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.
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