Important Ways Sleep Impacts Weight
You more than likely understand the general impact of sleep on your health and well-being, but what about its effects on your weight, or weight loss? There are significant links between how much sleep you get and how well you’re able to maintain a healthy weight, but it’s not necessarily an intersection that a lot of people understand.
People tend to overlook sleep as a factor as they strive to either lose weight or maintain their weight, but forgetting this vital link can sabotage even the best efforts.
The following are some of the most important things to know about how your sleep impacts your weight.
You’re Less Likely to Exercise
This is pretty intuitive: if you’re tired, you’re less likely to exercise. On the other hand, if you feel well-rested you’re more likely to get enough physical activity. Most people find that they’re best able to stick to their exercise routine when they do it first thing in the morning as well, so if you get too little sleep, you’re more likely to keep hitting snooze and sleep through your workout wake-up call.
It’s not just the obvious such as being too tired to exercise that demonstrates the critical link between sleep and weight loss. Not getting enough sleep can affect the chemical activity of your brain. There are two hormones, in particular, ghrelin and leptin, which tell your brain how hungry or full it is. When you don’t get enough sleep, you make more ghrelin, which means your brain, in turn, thinks it’s hungrier.
Leptin is the hormone that tells you you’re full, and when you don’t get enough sleep, it goes down so your brain thinks it should eat more.
In addition to a lack of sleep changing your hormone levels and making you feel hungrier, it can also alter the types of foods you crave. When you’re tired, your brain tends to signal that you want high sugar and high carb foods that will give you an instant but short-lived energy boost.
The foods that you tend to want most when you’re sleep deprived are the very foods you should be avoiding if you want to lose weight or maintain your weight.
If you don’t sleep enough at night, your metabolism is also going to slow down in addition to you likely eating higher quantities of high-calorie foods, making this scenario a perfect storm of weight gain. Even as little as a week with too little sleep can impact your body’s ability to process glucose which then leads to problems with insulin resistance. When you have insulin resistance issues, it causes your body to store sugar rather than using it for energy.
So, with all of the above weight-related issues that can come from too little sleep, the best recommendation? Invest in a bed you love, create a soothing bedroom, and work on strategies that will be effective in helping you fall asleep earlier and stay asleep longer. It’s important not just for your mental well-being, but also for your physical health, including your weight.