How Sleep Affects Weight Gain

You eat healthy foods in normal portions. You are moderately active. You drink plenty of water and keep your body hydrated. So, why are you gaining weight? Sleep deprivation causes changes in hormones that regulate hunger and appetite. In fact, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado discovered that it only takes about a week of sleeping around five hours per night to result in a two-pound weight gain.

What Are You Actually Eating?

You may believe you are eating only healthy foods, but consider that sleep deprivation leads to an increase in the hormone ghrelin. This hormone makes you feel hungry while the appetite-suppressing hormone leptin is decreased. You find yourself drawn to more fat and sugary foods.

Lack of sleep often causes a change in eating patterns as well. You are more likely to eat more the next day. Additionally, you are probably going to eat more at night, upping your caloric intake. This adds pounds. Two pounds a month does not sound like a big deal. Then 12 months later you’ve gained 24 pounds.

Sleep the Pounds Away

Of course, it is not that easy; however, getting a good night’s rest can impact your weight by helping your metabolism work smoothly. Too little sleep leads to a sluggish metabolism. When you get enough sleep, in a way, you feed your brain. With the right amount of rest, your brain is able to make good choices around food. You have more self-control to resist cravings for fat and sugary foods.

You will also find that the rest you get will help you feel more energized. More energy can translate into more activity, which is good for the body. Regular exercise, even if it is moderate, helps you feel better and aids in restful sleep.

Restful sleep can be hard to come by. Discovering the reason you have difficulty in getting to sleep or staying asleep is vital for your health and well-being. If you have trouble sleeping, seek help. You may have a sleep disorder that is preventing you from getting the rest you need.