Does Lack of Sleep Promote Obesity?
When you were young you were probably told that getting a good night’s sleep each night would help you grow and stay healthy as you got older. Now that you are older, not much has changed, especially when it comes to staying healthy. Recent studies have shown that people who get less sleep on average each night tend to have a higher body mass index (BMI) compared to people who get more sleep each night. So while it may be true that less sleep can also help you grow, it may not be the kind of growth you are after at this point in your life!
Research has shown that there is a direct correlation between a lack of sleep and the production of certain hormones that make you feel hungry. When you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body reacts by increasing its production of a hormone known as ghrelin. This hormone is designed to send signals to your brain that tells you when you are hungry. In a person who regularly gets a healthy amount each night, the ghrelin hormone is counteracted by another hormone known as leptin, which signals the brain that you are full. If there is an imbalance of these hormones due to a lack of sleep, you may find yourself feeling an increase in your appetite around the time when you should be getting ready for bed. Eating right before you sleep is a guaranteed way to start gaining weight. This is due to the fact that your body isn’t able to effectively burn fat and calories while you sleep as opposed to when you are awake.
In addition to messing with your hunger hormones, a lack of sleep can also have a significant impact on your stress levels, which also causes you to gain weight over time. The stress hormone known as cortisol is a major cause of what many people refer to as ‘stress eating’. This hormone directly influences your stress level, often making you crave sugary or starchy foods, which can certainly cause you to gain weight if you eat them regularly, especially before bed. In more severe cases, when people get less than six hours of sleep each night, the body’s insulin receptors can be negatively affected. Insulin is important to the part of the digestive process where food is converted into energy in our bodies. If too much insulin is present, the body can’t burn or digest fat as efficiently, which not only leads to weight gains, but also an increased chance of developing diabetes. Basically, a lack of sleep puts your body in a pre-diabetic state, which can be harder and harder to reverse due to a lack of sleep.
If you think you might be gaining weight due to an unhealthy diet brought on by a lack of sleep, the experts at M&N Mattress are here to help. We have been finding personalized sleep solutions for residents all over the Parksville and Nanaimo areas of Vancouver Island, and we are ready to help you get back into healthy sleeping habits as well. For more information, feel free to visit us in-store or online. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter to receive the latest updates on new products and promotions.