Do you know that people who sleep too little tend to be more overweight than those who get enough sleep night after night? Several studies have suggested the importance of sleep in maintaining a healthy weight.
One study published in the has shown that people with less than seven hours of sleep each night have a higher body mass index than those who have more hours of sleep. Another study in the , which looked into the sleep patterns of 60,000 women for 16 years, has revealed that those who had less than five hours of sleep every night had a 30 percent risk of gaining 30 pounds, or at least three waistline sizes bigger.
Why Lack of Sleep Makes You Gain Weight
Experts have a pretty straightforward theory on why sleep deprivation and obesity are linked. As lack of sleep depletes your body of energy, then doing physical activities could be the last thing on your mind. Therefore, you burn fewer calories.
However, scientists also learned that sleep deprivation can impact the body’s metabolism and the functions of hormones like ghrelin and leptin. These hormones convey information from the brain to the body about taking and burning energy (food). The ghrelin hormones increase while the leptin hormones decrease when you’re deprived of sleep. This causes a chemical reaction that makes your body feel more hungry, so you’re prompted to eat more food.
Worse, sleep deprivation amplifies a part of your brain that apparently sees food as a form of reward. Thus, you crave more for greasy, unhealthy, and high-calorie food when what you really need is a good shut-eye.
Tips for Good Sleep
There’s only one sensible solution to prevent sleep deprivation from affecting your weight. You need to aim for seven to nine hours of sleep every night.
That could be easier said than done for people who have busy lives. Yet creating good habits or sleep rituals before bedtime can bring significant results.
Start by sticking to a strict sleep schedule and resist doing more stimulating activities at least two hours before your bedtime. According to the Sleep Foundation, your body needs to wind down to shift to sleep mode so turn off the phone or laptop and opt for more calming activities.
Avoid eating a heavy meal in the evening, or drinking alcohol or coffee, or smoking a cigarette as these can disrupt your sleep patterns. Aim to exercise every day to help maintain your weight.
While power naps during the day can help, it could also affect your nighttime sleep. If this is the case, you should resist taking naps.
If you are having trouble initiating sleep or achieving a good quality sleep, you might be suffering from a sleep disorder or breathing issues. The good news is, you can access our online. Through a video consultation with our qualified physician, you can get a complete medical evaluation without leaving the comfort of your home. Read more about the benefits of sleep telemedicine in this article.
Since there are many types of sleep disorders and the treatment for each vary, a home is a crucial part of the diagnosis and treatment. Through this online service, patients can conveniently take the sleep test themselves. We can mail you the equipment needed as well as the instructions on how to do the test. After the test, you can send the equipment back, email the results, and you can receive the interpretation and analysis of the findings in two short days.
With our revolutionary , you can easily carry out a sleep disorder test in the comfort of your own home. Our step-by-step guide will walk you through the test. Once we have the equipment back from you, you will get the results within 48 hours. There need be no geographical barriers in your journey to recovery.
Our board-certified sleep and respiratory physician, Dr. Bhar, believes that high-quality care only comes from a trustful and compassionate physician-patient environment. To keep your best interests at heart, we provide patient-orientated care.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.