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Sleep To Lose Weight

Less sleep = more weight gain? (But wait - you’d think that if you’re awake longer, you’re burning more calories and you’ll lose weight, right?) Apparently not. There’s a strong link between reduced sleep and increased girth. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • The hormone Ghrelin regulates feelings of hunger, and when you get less sleep, your Ghrelin levels increase.
  • The hormone Leptin regulates the feeling of fullness, and when you’re sleep deprived, you guessed it: your Leptin levels decrease
  • Cortisol is another hormone affected by sleep deprivation. It’s a stress hormone that can stimulate hunger, and it’s released when you haven’t slept enough
  • Basal metabolic rate: supposedly needs adequate sleep to maintain its speed, so if you sleep less, the rate at which you burn calories while you rest decreases
  • Non-exercise associated thermogenesis: a fancy term for fidgeting. If you’re tired, you move less and burn fewer calories
  • Lack of sleep can interfere with the body’s ability to metabolize carbs. This results in high blood glucose levels, which triggers the release of extra insulin, which then results in extra fat storage.

The last three items may account for the results of a study that monitored close to 70,000 women over 16 years, which demonstrated sleep reduction related weight gain without an increase in food eaten.  In other words, despite the change in appetite regulating hormones that resulted in less sleep, these women still did not eat more, and yet they still gained weight.

Nice. So much for the hope to get more done by sacrificing some sleep... yeesh. I guess I'll publish this post and go take a nap?

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