It seems that everything in life affects how you look and feel; sleep deprivation is one of them. Think about it, sleep deprivation and weight gain are pretty closely related.
Studies have shown that the ideal amount of sleep for an individual is between 5 and 9 hours of sleep a night.
So, let's take a look at common reasons why a lack of sleep could affect your pant size.
Two critical hormones that affect our appetite are ghrelin and leptin; both of which are believed to be affected by the amount of sleep that we get each night. Leptin tells the brain when a person is full, while ghrelin stimulates the appetite.
When you experience a lack of sleep, leptin levels drop and ghrelin levels rise. So, you have more cravings without your body signalling to the brain it is full.
Not getting enough sleep, not getting restful sleep, and getting too much sleep can negatively impact the levels of leptin and ghrelin being produced in our bodies. Thus, eating too much and never feeling full is the result.
When a person is sleepy, it is easy to grab snacks to munch on to stay awake at work, driving a car, sitting in class, etc.
Typically those "snacks" are anything but healthy, and loaded with calories and empty carbohydrates.
The best way to combat the impulse to grab a snack is to munch on ice...and then get more sleep tonight!
Generally speaking, when a person is tired and lethargic, the last thing on their mind is exercise. Reality is, when you are tired, get up and do a few exercises, even if you don't feel like it.
Whether you are at the office or sitting at home, go for a walk or stretch by your desk. It may take more energy at first, but it will revive you a little without eating more calories.
If possible, take a quick power nap. Set your alarm and only sleep a few minutes. Sometimes only 5 minutes is all you need. Often times a power nap isn't possible if you are at work, but if you are able to, it might be worth the 5 minute investment.
To bring all of this to light, I read a study that was performed by Stanford University and the University of Wisconsin.
They evaluated 1,000 volunteers, comparing the amount of sleep vs. the amount of ghrelin and leptin in their bodies.
Not only did they discover a direct link between hormone levels and the amount of sleep the volunteers averaged, there was a direct correlation between their hormone levels and body fat.
Those that received less than 8 hours of sleep experienced high levels of ghrelin and lower levels of leptin. Additionally, they found that those averaging fewer hours of sleep weighed proportionately more than the other volunteers.
Sleep deprivation and weight gain are directly related. Getting adequate sleep helps with weight loss, especially when partnered with eating healthy and getting daily exercise.
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