Do you feel that you need to lose weight? Well then don’t just count calories. You might want to count sheep as well.
Recent studies have shown that sleep deprivation disrupts a series of metabolism and hormonal processes. It causes increased hunger and affects the body’s metabolism making it difficult to lose and control weight.
Lack of sleep causes a hormone called cortisol, which controls the appetite, to take excess calories and store them as excess body fat. In addition, sleep loss interferes with carbohydrate metabolism which may cause high blood glucose levels. The excess amount of glucose encourages the overproduction of insulin, which may lead to diabetes or even obesity.
Furthermore, sleep deprivation can promote weight gain by affecting our behavior. People who lack sleep tended to crave sweets or high carbohydrate, high fat food with low nutrient value. They tend to snack on chips, cakes, pastries, burgers, fries, soft drinks, etc. Though the short-term rise in blood sugar, brought on by these snacks, gives a surge of energy, the extra calories are not needed by the body and must be stored as body fat.
These calories are not so easily shed than taken. When they are sleep deprived, people are often too tired to exercise or they work out less intensely than usual. They commonly feel exhausted and lack the energy and motivation to do even simple exercises. They would rather go to sleep, or eat, than do something physical. In time the calories that are gained and not easily burned are deposited in the body as fat.
Some people may require less hours of sleep to be in top condition during the day; while others need more than 10 hours. But experts agree that most people need at least eight hours of sleep each night to give themselves enough energy to exercise, eat right and keep off those unwanted pounds. Yet, according to a poll sponsored by the National Sleep Foundation, only 30 percent of adults get eight or more hours of sleep on weeknights; while 52 percent do on weekends. A third of adults reportedly sleep no more than six-and-a-half hours nightly!
In fact, disruption in the sleeping patterns in the United States and in the industrialized world is thought as one of the main reasons that people are getting overweight. People should start making behavioral and lifestyle changes now for a better, healthier tomorrow.