Sleep It Off: The Sleep-Weight Connection
A lack of quality sleep can affect your ability to lose weight
Say “Rock-a-bye-extra-kilos!” Did you know that lack of sleep can make it difficult to lose weight?
Several major studies have shown that sleep, or lack of it, affects a number of processes in the body linked with weight management, including the ability to process glucose effectively. If you’re doing all the right things, but still can’t seem to lose weight, it could be that you just need to sleep it off!
Read on and find out how a good night’s sleep can make all the difference to your body and your waistline.
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Losing sleep, gaining weight
Do you lose sleep over your weight? It might be time to try losing weight over your sleep!
According to a major study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, lack of sleep can reduce the production of the hormone GH - a hormone that helps inhibit weight gain. GH plays an important role in controlling the proportions of fat and muscle. Having less of this hormone increases your chances of being overweight.
Lack of sleep can also affect the hormone leptin, which regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates and signals the body when it should feel full. When there are low levels of leptin, the body craves carbohydrates regardless of the amount of calories consumed. This can easily lead to weight gain.
On the other hand, studies show that if you get high amounts of REM sleep (deep or slow-wave) your evening cortisol levels are more likely to be well-balanced. The hormone cortisol also plays a role in regulating appetite. The more balanced your cortisol levels, the easier it is to control your appetite.
Lack of sleep and diabetes
Lack of sleep has also been shown to have diabetes-like effects on people.
One study showed that a sleep deficit of three to four hours for only one week can have adverse effects on basic metabolic functions, such as processing and storing carbohydrates, even if you're young and healthy.
The study suggests that without sufficient sleep your ability to process glucose can be affected so much that glucose levels can reach those associated with a pre-diabetic state.
The director of the study said she suspected that chronic sleep loss might hasten the onset, and increase the severity of, age-related ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and memory loss.
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