Is your lack of sleep affecting your waistline?
If your jeans are feeling a little on the tight side and you can't figure out why, you may want to read on.
You may be eating well and exercising regularly, but if you aren’t getting sufficient sleep it can really affect your weight loss success. Ever had those days where you just can’t stop eating and don’t seem to ever get satisfied? Well lack of sleep could play an important role.
One study published in the Journal of Sleep Research looked at how sleep can affect important satiety hormones and therefore feelings of hunger in normal-weight healthy men. The study found that a reduction of sleep duration to 4 hours for two consecutive nights could potentially result in decreased levels of circulating leptin and increased levels of ghrelin.
What is Leptin and Ghrelin you ask?
Leptin is coined the ‘satiety hormone’ as it tells your body when you have eaten enough and ghrelin on the other hand is the hormone that tells you that you need to eat.
So think of it this way, you wake up in the morning, ghrelin kicks in, tells you you are hungry so you eat, when you have finished your meal, leptin kicks in & tells you that you are satisfied.
These are super important as they literally ensure you don’t starve to death or eat yourself to death.
Now when you have a lack of sleep, Ghrelin is increased and leptin is decreased! Long story short you are less satisfied & more hungry!
Therefore when these hormones are out of whack you can imagine that this isn’t great for your waistline!
One study found that increased food intake during a period of insufficient sleep could in fact be a physiological adaptation to provide energy needed to maintain wakefulness, however the increased accessibility of food results in sleep deprived individuals over eating.
Another study found an association between irregular sleep pattern and weight gain over a three-year period. Potential reasons for this were thought that lack of sleep could result in a wide fluctuation of insulin levels among other metabolic dysfunction which, in turn could lead to weight gain. Another study published in the Journal of Sleep Medicine Reviews has suggested that decreased sleep could result in impaired glucose metabolism, which in turn reduces sensitivity to insulin, increasing ones risk for type 2 diabetes.
So how do you know if you are getting enough sleep?
It varies from person to person, but in general most individuals are going to need between seven and nine hours a night. So instead of staying up late and night binge watching Game of Thrones, get into bed early. Your waistline might just thank you for it.