Sleep Your Way to Weight Loss!

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Sleep Your Way to Weight Loss!

A major activity that takes up a substantial portion of our lives is sleeping, yet a large number of us do not give much thought or importance to the quality of sleep we need to get in order to boost our well-being. A sleepless night or bad sleeping habits can result in stifling weight loss efforts of an individual and making him restless and grumpy the next day. According to a study conducted by the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine, lack of sleep resulted in the slowing of metabolism and disturbance among hormones thus contributing to weight gain. Normal physiological functioning was greatly affected with sleep loss and although it might not be a bad thing in the short term, it greatly affects an individual's overall health in the long term. The study revealed that healthy adults who experienced restricted sleep for just four hours a day gained over 2 kg over a period of 12 days.

sleep to weight loss

Image courtesy of Michal Marcol at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Although research is under way to better understand how sleep loss results in weight gain, experts at the University of Chicago revealed that lack of sleep can compromise an individual’s ability to burn calories. Sleep deprivation causes an increase in the hormone called ghrelin, which causes the individual to feel hungry and consume more than usual. This particular hormone is found in the stomach and is produced during sleep. Sleep loss upsets the entire hormonal balance leading to an excessive production of ghrelin. Another hormone known as leptin tells the body that it has had enough of food. During sleep loss, leptin levels are reduced while ghrelin levels increase.

Studies Proved It

The latest study from the University of California, Berkeley reveals that even if an individual is deprived of sleep for even one night, it drastically changes the way the individual's brain response to dense-calorie foods. Junk and fattening foods that contain high calories began to stimulate intense responses in a particular part of the brain in those individuals who did not get sound sleep. Experts in the study concluded that a sleepy individual appears to respond strongly towards high calorie food while having extremely low ability in reining the urge of consuming such foods.
Other instances of hormonal imbalance include the intense rise of the stress hormone known as cortisol and other markers of inflammation. Due to lack of sleep, an individual's metabolism becomes less sensitive to insulin thus heightening the dangers of type II diabetes in the individual.
Why would sleep loss of disruption in the brain's response towards food? One particular researcher is of the opinion that a specific metabolic by-product known as adenosine is to be blamed. Adenosine induces a disruption in the neural function and encourages sleepiness as it begins to collect in the brain. Upon waking up, this particular metabolic by-product gets blocked when caffeine is consumed. In the event of sleep deprivation, the build-up of adenosine remains uninterrupted and causes miscommunication in the brain network. In other words, researchers conclude that the brain gets 'rebooted' with enough sleep.

A Wake Up Call : Sleep More To Lose Weight !

If you have not been getting enough sleep for a while now and have been wondering why you have been piling on the pounds, this could be a wake-up call for you to finally change your sleeping habits in order to budge the weighing scale. Get yourself on a regular sleep schedule and maintain a uniform sleep routine. Rather than fretting over about how many hours of sleep you need to get, concentrate on how you feel when you wake up in the morning. If you feel refreshed and ready to go, you would have had a good night's sleep. If you have woken up miserable and grumpy with heavy eyelids, you know that your sleep pattern has been disturbed or you have not had enough sleep.
Lack of sleep can bring about a whole range of unpleasant and ugly side-effects that can have a negative impact on weight. It helps to factor in exercise in one's daily schedule in order to overcome the side-effects of sleep. Experts advise that in order to get good sleep at night, exercising in the early afternoon or early evening can help in not only relieving stress but also curing insomnia. However, it is recommended not to exercise towards the night as an increase in body temperature can hamper one's ability to fall asleep. Introduce a ‘buffer zone’ that comprises some kind of relaxing activity in between your hectic schedule and night time sleep. If you have got poor sleep on just a couple of occasions, chances are you may not be at risk of gaining weight but if you have been waking up each morning feeling lethargic and tired, it is time to build good bedtime habits.
Joe Bianchi is a fitness and lifestyle enthusiast. His main area of interest is HCG drops, a diet program for weight loss. He writes on matters related to food, diet, fitness, weight loss, and overall wellbeing

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Author: Myriam

Fitness passionate, civil engineer and now blogger. After losing 45 pounds in a year and maintaining for a few years, I decided to create my website to share my nutrition tips and workouts to help other people achieve their fitness goals and maintain it.

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