If you’re not getting enough sleep, you might be putting your body at more risk than you realize. In fact, there are several studies that have found a distinct correlation between poor quality sleep, or lack of sleep, and weight gain.
If you’re wondering why you’ve been putting on the pounds, the answer might be right in front of you: You’re tired.
Weight gain due to lack of sleep is a vicious cycle. For example, if you didn’t get enough sleep and you have to be alert at work, your first instinct will probably be to grab a cup of coffee. And, of course, you don’t want to drink black coffee, so you sweeten it.
And then you think that maybe a muffin or donut might compliment that coffee well. So you eat that. In just a few minutes, you’ve ingested hundreds of sugary, empty calories. Unfortunately, this is the case with many people. And it’s often repeated several times a day.
But bad choices in morning food is only the beginning of how sleep deprivation could be affecting you. When you’re tired, you aren’t going to want to exercise. In fact, the gym is the last thing on your mind when you’re heading home from work.
So, you skip it for the day. And the next day. And soon, you’re no longer working out. This, compounded with the bad food choices your sleepy brain is making, can cause huge weight problems.
There are chemical problems that happen inside your body when you’re tired, too. These problems lead to weight gain as well. There are two hormones that work in your body when you sleep: Leptin and Ghrelin.
Both are important, but if they aren’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing, they can cause you harm. Ghrelin is a hormone that lets your body know it’s hungry and when you aren’t getting enough rest, it floods your system.
This means you’re going to be hungrier more often and you’re going to be eating more food. Leptin is ghrelin’s counterpart and tells your body to stop eating.
When you’re tired, your leptin levels drop, meaning your brain isn’t telling you when to stop. Together, these two hormones can cause quite a bit of damage.
The key to keeping yourself from gaining weight due to lack of sleep is to figure out why you aren’t sleeping. Is it just because you’re going to bed too late or waking up too early? Are you stressed? Or is something happening at night keeping you from getting quality sleep?
Once you figure out what is keeping you from sleeping or from getting quality sleep, you can troubleshoot your problem. It may mean getting to bed earlier or sleeping in. It might mean getting your partner nose strips so he or she doesn’t snore.
Whatever you need to do, do it fast! The longer you go without getting proper sleep, the more likely you are to gain unwanted weight. Worse still, it may also lead to more serious health problems.