You know that it’s important to get enough sleep if you want to be alert and ready to tackle the day, but according to a study done by the CDC, 30% of us still aren’t getting enough of it. If you’re not getting enough sleep at night and you’ve been struggling to shed those last few pounds before bikini season hits, you’re might be surprised to learn that the building evidence for the connection between the two is quite staggering.
Here are 7 ways that sleep and weight loss are related:
Everyone’s different; one person’s sleeping habits may not work for another. Nevertheless, experts recommend that people try to get at least seven hours of shuteye per night if you don’t want to gain weight. This applies to children and adults alike. If you happen to gain weight because of your poor sleeping habits, the extra pounds can make it even harder to sleep. It’s a vicious cycle.
By turning your electronics off an hour or so before you want to go to sleep and exercising during the day, you might find that you’re tired enough to drift off shortly after you’ve hit the sheets.
You may have noticed that when you don’t get enough sleep, you want to eat everything in sight and none of it actually satiates you. And when you’re inconsolably hungry – if it goes on for any length of time – you’re bound to gain a few pounds. Researchers think that this happens because certain hormones (namely the ones that signal hunger and fullness) seem to get thrown out of whack when we’re not sleeping enough.
People who aren’t getting enough sleep at night also tend to have higher BMI readings.
Because of the way your brain processes are altered, you might have a hard time making good, healthy choices when you’re not getting enough shuteye because the part of your brain that’s responsible for decision making and self-control is actually dulled when you’re sleeping. As if that’s not bad enough, it looks like the brain’s reward center is more receptive when we’re running on fumes.
Poor sleep habits have also been linked to increased consumption of foods high in calories, fats, and carbs.
Researchers did a study on 12 men and found that when they were only allowed to sleep for four hours a day, they consumed an average of nearly 600 calories more than usual. Another study, this time with 16 male participants, found that if you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re less likely to know what a portion size looks like.
Though it’s unclear whether or not we’re eating more because we’re hungry or just because we’re awake (what else is there to do?), it’s an interesting question to ask yourself if you’re someone who tends to eat in the middle of the night.
In a negative way, but findings aren’t conclusive. In this study, it looks like the resting metabolic rate (RMR) of a person slows down when they don’t get enough sleep, while in this one it didn’t seem to make any difference. This study shows that poor sleep can cause muscle mass, so perhaps that’s the deciding factor.
Either way, it’s something to keep in mind if you’re trying to trim and tone your body, not sleeping well, and aren’t seeing any success.
We look, feel, and perform better after we’ve had an adequate amount of sleep so it makes sense that we would also be more motivated to work out. Even if you can manage to muster the energy after not sleeping well, you’re more likely to get tired and give up on your workout earlier.
Getting enough sleep, on the other hand, will make us faster, give us better reaction times and accuracy, and gives us increased stamina to help ward off premature fatigue.
Insulin is responsible for moving sugar from your bloodstream to your cells so that your body can use it for energy. When we don’t get enough sleep, those cells can start to become insulin resistant. Your body starts producing more insulin to compensate and as a result, you feel hungrier than you should. This could lead to overeating and weight gain.
Insulin resistance is also a precursor to type 2 diabetes. What’s most scary is that it doesn’t seem to take more than a few days of being sleep deprived for the insulin resistance to start, so make sure that you’re getting enough sleep to avoid it.
Poor sleep habits can significantly contribute to the way our body responds to a wide variety of things, including food. When we don’t get enough sleep, we eat more and gain weight, which makes it harder to sleep.
If you’re having difficulty maintaining a proper sleep schedule, consider working a more exhaustive workout routine in every few days and/or try meditating. Ir’s probably going to take quite a bit of work to get yourself back onto a normal schedule, but the benefits are well worth the trouble.
What are your tricks for getting enough sleep?
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