How Sleep Affects Weight
(Could your weight gain woes be as simple as sleep?)
Your mom always said it was important. You had to get enough before tests. But did you miss the lesson on how sleep affects weight, too?
While breakfast is the most important meal of the day—what came right before it is key to maintaining control over your weight.
But how? How does sleep affect weight?
We know and we’re sharing.
While your mind counts sheep when you’re trying to sleep, your body counts pounds. The pounds it’s going to hoard and store on your hips and thighs.
It will give you a good reason to skip the gym…. “You’re too tired…”
It will give you a good reason to give into sugary cravings … “Chocolate gives you energy…”
And it’ll give you a good reason to put that conference call on mute and get called out for not paying attention.
Lack of sleep is the DEBIL—and you’ll be cursing your wider hips and thighs when you don’t get enough zzzzzs.
How Sleep Affects Weight
Growing scientific evidence has shown obesity and sleep are strongly linked. In fact, poor sleep quality is linked directly to an increased risk for obesity. Getting less than 7.5 hours of sleep per night can pack on the pounds.
And it allll starts with the brain.
How Sleep Affects Weight: The Brain
Sleep is like a system update and reboot on a slow running computer. Sleep is a regulator of glucose, metabolism and neuroendocrine function. When the brain is deprived from its regular update and reboot, it doesn’t function correctly. Your glucose tolerance decreases, your insulin sensitivity and leptin levels decrease, and your cortisol levels increase alongside ghrelin and hunger.
This is a perfect storm for weight gain.
Sleep dilutes the brain’s frontal lobe activity. This is the center of your impulse control and decision making.
Every parent knows what a part-time frontal lobe feels like. It feels like you’re a zombie. You aren’t thinking clearly, you feel drained and make less than stellar decisions—like cheesecake for breakfast and putting that dirty diaper in the fridge.
If you aren’t a parent—then this feeling is best described as being drunk. Just drunk.
You know what happens when you’re drunk? Besides talking too much? Your brain looks for rewards. When you’re sleep deprived, your brain will convince you that eating a full turkey will give you energy. Don’t forget to wash it down with a milkshake after you dipped your three donuts into it.
On a serious note, studies show late night snacking increases, bigger portions of food are consumed, high sugar and carb foods are tops choices and as a result—people gained weight.
Making bad food decisions because your brain is tipsy isn’t the only reason sleep affects weight.
In fact, it’s a result of hormonal changes that happen when you don’t get enough sleep.
How Sleep Affects Weight: Hormones
We mentioned this earlier: ghrelin. It’s a hormone that promotes hunger. It increases when you’re sleep deprived.
Leptin decreases. Leptin is a hormone that helps you feel full and satisfied.
So, like a 2am bar encounter—beautiful leptin leaves the scene and grenade ghrelin is waiting around—eyes locked with you. You’re stuck—because remember—you aren’t making great decisions right now.
Ghrelin is now riding shot gun and GPSing directions to the nearest fast food joint.
Now you’re STARVING and your brain is screaming “EMPTY CALORIES!!!”
Now, your body has an overprotective friend—cortisol. When the body is stressed from lack of sleep, cortisol comes on the scene and starts flipping out. She starts grabbing fat cells and marking them as “permanent’ because she thinks you’re stroking out because you’ve been spending WAAAY too much time with ghrelin the grenade.
Energy is conserved by cortisol in the form of stored fat.
Next, you’re insulin sensitivity is decreased. Insulin directs the body to use food as energy. When food is not used as energy, it is stored as fat. Since your insulin sensitivity decreased…you are now storing more fat…and cortisol is really excited about that.
So not only are you eating more, more of what you eat will not be used as fuel as a result of lack of sleep, and both will make you gain weight.
Studies show an increase association of lack of sleep with
- Higher BMI
- Diabetes (Type II)
- Weight gain
- Inability to lose weight
Now you know how sleep affects weight…once again—your mom was right. You NEED sleep.
So, what if you have problems sleeping?
Tips to Get More Sleep
· Set a scheduled bed time.
· Don’t have electronics in the bed.
· Don’t eat big meals before bed.
· Don’t consume caffeine before bed.
Lose the Sleep Weight Faster
While you get on track with sleep, take a natural fat burner to help you not only lose weight but increase your insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism so your body is in a better position to fight off fat and win the war against sleep deprivation. It’s called CapsiLean—get it now and get back on track.