Sleep related to Weight loss.

 

Being short on sleep can really affect your weight. While you weren’t sleeping, your body cooked up a perfect recipe for weight gain. When you’re short on sleep, it’s easy to lean on a large latte to get moving. You might be tempted to skip exercise get takeout for dinner and then turn in late because you’re uncomfortably full.

If this cascade of events happens a few times each year, no problem. Trouble is, more than a third of Americans aren’t getting enough sleep on a regular basis. Yet experts agree that getting enough shut-eye is as important to your health, well-being and your weight as are diet and exercise.

Your Brain

Skimping on sleep sets your brain up to make bad decisions. It dulls activity in the decision making and impulse control part of the brain. So it’s a little like being drunk. You don’t have the clarity to make good decisions. When you’re overtired your brain’s reward centers rev up, looking for something that feels good. So while you might be able to squash comfort food cravings when you’re well-rested, your sleep-deprived brain may have trouble saying no to a second slice of cake.

When people are starved of sleep, late-night snacking is increased, and they are more likely to choose high-carb snacks. A lack of sleep can lead to increased cravings for energy-dense, high-carbohydrate foods. Add it all together, and a sleepless brain appears to crave junk food while also lacking the impulse control to say no.

Hunger Hormones

Sleep is like nutrition for the brain. Most people need between 7 and 9 hours each night. Get less than that and your body will react in ways that lead even the most determined dieter straight to eating. Because insufficient sleep impacts your hunger and fullness hormones including two called ghrelin and leptin.

Ghrelin signals your brain that it’s time to eat. Leptin on the other hand cues your brain to put the fork down.  Put the two together, and it’s no wonder sleep deprivation leads to overeating and extra pounds. Then there’s the cortisol spike that comes from too little sleep. This hormone signals your body to conserve energy to fuel your waking hours. You’re more likely to hang on to fat.

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. 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.

Tricks and Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep

Snoozing can be difficult now and days especially when all your screens lure you into staying up just a little longer.

The basics are pretty simple:

  • Shutdown your computer, cell phone, and TV at least an hour before you hit the sack.
  • Save your bedroom for sleep and sex. Think relaxation and release, rather than work or entertainment.
  • Create a bedtime ritual. It’s not the time to tackle big issues. Instead, take a warm bath, meditate, or read.
  • Stick to a schedule, waking up and retiring at the same times every day, even on weekends.
  • Watch what and when you eat. Avoid eating heavy meals and alcohol close to bedtime, which may cause heartburn and make it hard to fall asleep. And steer clear of soda, tea, coffee, and chocolate after 2 p.m. Caffeine can stay in your system for 5 to 6 hours.
  • Turn out the lights. Darkness cues your body to release the natural sleep hormone melatonin, while light suppresses it.