Sleep deprived?Hungry all the time?What’s the connection?
Is Sleep Deprivation Contributing to Your Weight Gain?
Current research shows that lack of good quality sleep can contribute to weight gain.
Just as obesity has become a worldwide epidemic over the past few decades, more people have also become sleep deprived.
“There are more and more studies showing that not getting enough sleep or not getting enough good quality sleep can lead to weight gain,” says Raj Kakar, MD, MPH, the medical director at the Dallas Center for Sleep Disorders in Plano, Texas.
According to National Sleep Foundation surveys, 35 percent of Americans were sleeping for eight hours a night in 1998, compared with just 26 percent in 2005.In 2010 the annual American survey revealed that the average American was only sleeping 6.7 hours a night during the week.
Researchers also believe that it is possible that the prevalence of sleep deprivation and growing obesity epidemic may be related.
What the Research is saying about Sleep and Body Weight.
A recent study was conducted that followed a group of 40- to 60-year-old women for five to seven years to keep track of their weight and sleeping patterns.
The researchers found that women who reported having trouble falling asleep, waking up frequently at night, or having trouble staying asleep were significantly more likely to have “major weight gain” (gain of 11 pounds or more) than those women who were able to sleep deeply for 7.5 – 8 hours per night.
Researchers also believe that sleep-deprived children may be at especially high risk of having weight problems.
Studies have consistently found that getting less sleep than recommended is associated with childhood obesity.In fact, based on sleep studies in children, researchers have calculated that a child’s risk of being overweight or obese is reduced by about 9 percent for each additional hour of sleep per night they get.
Research has discovered that there are several links between inadequate Sleep and Weight Gain.
Studies show that sleep deprivation can lead to elevations in Ghrelin, which is appetite-stimulating, and reductions in Leptin, which is an appetite-suppressing hormone.
When you are sleep deprived these two hormones are thrown out of Balance. The production of Ghrelin the “go” hormone gets ramped up and that of Leptin, the “stop” eating hormone gets pushed down when you are sleep deprived.
You are therefore more likely to find yourself reaching for high-carbohydrate foods and high-energy foods to get yourself going. These will give your tired body a temporary boost of energy, but with your appetite stimulating hormone production increased you are likely to eat way more than you need and this can lead to weight gain.
A recent study examined the eating and exercise habits of a group of young healthy men, after sleeping for eight hours and four hours on two consecutive nights and revealed some interesting trends.
The researchers found that the men ate significantly more (an average of 560 excess calories in their daily diet) during the day after they were sleep-deprived, compared to what they ate after having a good night’s sleep.
When your body is tired and suffering from the effects of not enough sleep your adrenal glands become stressed. This also leads to a lowering of your metabolic rate. However the lack of sleep is also raising hormones that increase your appetite, especially for carbohydrates just at the time your metabolism is burning food more slowly. It just doesn’t seem fair does it?
People who are sleep-deprived generally have less energy throughout the day and are less motivated to exercise. In fact, people who don’t sleep enough report getting less exercise than people who get 7-8 hours of sleep daily.This is can create another cycle, that being poor sleep> less exercise: Less exercise>poor sleep.
Wow, what a powerful combination this is for storing fat. Naturally wanting to eat more starchy carbohydrates and fatty foods, increased Grehlin stimulating your appetite, less Leptin, not giving you signals to stop eating and a slower burning furnace all while you are too tired to exercise.
Getting adequate sleep is vitally important for general good health, vitality and wellbeing that it is worth making a priority.
To find if sleeping help you lose weight watch for my next blog post.
Dr. Sonja Gwosdezki.
Wellbeing Empowerment Consultant
Weight Loss Success Coach