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5 Ways Insufficient Sleep Can Make You Fat

One of the ways insufficient sleep affects your health is by making you fat. This is one of the leading causes of obesity and excessive weight gain. Poor sleep has also been linked to a bigger belly. All-nighters pay a huge price for skipping sleep; everyone pays a price for sleeping late and waking up early. This sets the stage for obesity and other health problems.

It has been known for many years that poor sleep makes one fat, but the reason for this was not clear but now, researchers believe that the reason and how this works is no more a mystery. Some weight loss experts even put their patients on a “sleep diet” because it is now proven people lose weight when they have a healthy sleep pattern.

This does not mean that sleep itself makes one lose weight but sleep deprivation leads to weight gain, so one of the ways to prevent weight gain and obesity is to have a healthy sleep pattern. An adult needs 8 hours of night sleep every day; during this time our nightly hormones are in action. These hormones are leptin and ghrelin.

Sleep deprivation increases the production of the hormone ghrelin and this leads to overeating and weight gain because this hormone controls food intake by telling WHEN to eat. Leptin is another hormone that controls food intake but this one tells you WHEN to STOP eating. Sleep deprivation leads to less production of leptin.

So, we have now known one of the major ways poor sleep makes us fat. It disrupts the levels of hormones in our body by leading to an overproduction of ghrelin and less production of leptin thereby leading to excessive weight gain and obesity.

Overeating plus a sluggish or a slow metabolism is very common in people who work night-shifts or do not have proper sleep every night. below are Ways Poor Sleep makes you Fat.

It Changes your Appetite

There are certain hormones in your body that regulate or control appetite but lack of sleep can affect the production and levels of these hormones.

This leads to a hormonal imbalance, it can even reduce the effectiveness of the hormone glucagon-like-peptide 1. This hormone is responsible for inducing satiety and it is produced in the intestine. Insufficient sleep promotes the production of ghrelin, another hormone produced in the stomach that makes you feel hungry. This leads to an increased or raging appetite.

It leads to overeating even if you have eaten enough and this, in turn, leads to excess body weight and obesity. Poor sleep also makes eating feel amazing and pleasurable thereby leading to a large appetite and overeating.

When you are sleep-deprived; the pleasure center in your brain is stimulated, it is easier to resist the urge to binge on snacks and unhealthy food when you have sufficient rest. You won’t be able to resist it when you are sleep-deprived.

Late night snacking is also very common in people who are deprived of sleep and this leads to weight gain. A study conducted at the University of Chicago showed that people who are sleep-deprived choose snacks with a double portion of fats than those who sleep for at least 8 hours. Another study revealed that little sleep makes people eat bigger portions of food and it also leads to cravings for sugary, high carbohydrates and energy dense foods.

The summary is that a sleepy brain leads to unhealthy food cravings, especially junk foods and it also leads to a bad decision in selecting food and it does not have the ability to resist the urge.

It Changes your Metabolism

Poor sleep increases the levels of cortisol in your body, this stress hormone is produced to signal your body to conserve energy to help fuel your waking hours, this leads to accumulation of fat and this is why you feel tired when you are sleep-deprived.

High levels of stress hormone in the body trick the body and make it believe that you are in danger. The body will slow down metabolism and reserve fuel just to maintain the resources of the body. This leads to a lot of health problems.

When your body is under stress, the body increases the production of serotonin in an effort to calm you down and make you feel good. The body does this by inducing a craving for high-fat foods and high-carbohydrate foods.

This produces a neurochemical reaction. Also, sleep deprivation shuts down the mitochondria in your cells and makes them unable to process sugar and energy. This can also lead to diabetes because a lot of sugar will be left in the bloodstream. Weight gain accompanies diabetes most times.

Sleep can be said to be nutrition for the brain; sleep deprivation or poor sleep makes you groggy metabolically. It disrupts the ability of your body to process insulin, this is an important hormone that is needed to convert foods, especially starches and sugars into energy.

This is a dangerous condition because when your body can’t process or respond to insulin properly, it will have difficulty in processing fats and removing them from your bloodstream. This leads to excessive fat storage and ultimately weight gain.

Researchers discovered during a study that when dieters cut back on sleep for a period of two weeks, the amount of fat they burned dropped by 55%; their calories remained the same but they felt hungrier, weaker, and they hardly got satisfied after eating.

It Affects the Population of Probiotics

Results from a Swiss research on the effects of poor sleep showed that it can alter or disrupt the population of beneficial bacteria (probiotics) present in your gut. This change can be seen just after two days of insufficient sleep by having digestive disturbances and other symptoms of weak immunity.

A decrease in the population of healthy bacteria present in the gut can lead to malabsorption since they help the body absorb and process some nutrients from the foods we eat. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies and other health problems.

It Reduces your Ability to Burn Calories

A Swiss researcher has found out that those who skip night sleep have difficulty burning calories. They saw that in the morning, men who did not sleep at night burned 5 to 20 percent of the calories they were supposed to burn.

They were supposed to burn more calories while sleeping or when they sleep normally but were on unable to do and the few calories burnt were due to digestion of foods and breathing.

Lack of night sleep makes your metabolism slow and sluggish; this leads to obesity when done on a daily basis. Do not go all night without sleep to avoid disrupting your metabolism.

It makes you make Wrong Food Choices

Skipping night sleep also affects your mental functions and not your body alone. It makes you make bad decisions and it also messes with your habits and can make you impulsive. It dulls the activities that take place in the frontal lobe of the brain, this is the center of decision-making and impulse control.

This is why people appear drunk when they have gone for days without sleeping. This deprives you of the mental clarity to make good decisions. This is so because sleep deprivation impairs your level of thinking and it makes one desire being impulsive.

Studies found out that when men were sleep-deprived, they bought foods that had higher calories but they didn’t do so when they had rested. It also leads to declined cognitive functions, slow reaction time, poor memory and slow decision making. If you want to lose weight, a healthy diet and sleep should be your best friend. If you have problems sleeping, click here to see effective remedies for insomnia.

This article is for informational/educational purposes only. Healthtian does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, read more.

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