Weight management is one major reason why it is important for you to have a good night’s sleep, each night. This is because poor and insufficient sleep is strongly and directly associated with weight gain. Thus, those who get adequate sleep are less likely to experience a gradual yet significant weight gain, compared to the one sleeping lesser and lighter.
Does Sleep Keep You Slim?
Sleep not only prevents you from putting on extra weight but also reduces some over a while. This holds as long as you complement it with a balanced diet and a good workout routine. A lack of sleep, however, not only wreaks havoc on your health but also affects your weight. Chronic sleeplessness can even lead to obesity, a serious health disorder involving excessive body fat with chances of leading to several other chronic conditions. Unfortunately, children and adults all over the world are equally prone to this problem.
Let us look at some of the real reasons why sleeping reflects incorrectly on your weight.
One big reason why sleep keeps your weight in check is that in case you sleep well, you would naturally take in much fewer calories as compared to those don’t get much sleep. It has been observed that when you are sleep deprived, your cravings for unhealthy food increases manifold, and you are much less likely to resist or say no. You unconsciously indulge in late-night munching. Interestingly, studies indicate that sleep-deprived people usually go for energy-dense, high-carb foods that make them feel uncomfortably full. These include snacks with twice as much fat, such as chips, cold drinks, ice creams, etc. They also prefer taking bigger portions of meals and snacks, which together adds on to their weight.
We all know that it is while we sleep that our body secretes various hormones. Sleep also keeps the appetite hormone in check, thereby allowing people to feel more satiated through the day. Sleeplessness, on the other hand, reduces the level of ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates your appetite. It also increases the level of the appetite-suppressing hormone, known as leptin.
In layman terms, metabolic rate refers to the pace at which your body can convert food into energy, and prevents it from turning into fat. Sleep is known to speed up your metabolism by increasing the level of a hormone called cortisol in your body. Cortisol is a stress hormone that allows your body to save energy for use during waking hours. In case of sleep deprivation, your entire energy would get consumed and you would end up craving for some energy-dense, high-carb food. You will get an instant boost of energy, but since you are sleeping less, the energy would get consumed faster, leading to feeling hungrier again! Before you know it, this would become a vicious cycle, gradually but steadily putting on those extra kilos to your weight.
Reduced Motivation to Workout
Sleep deprivation also significantly affects your motivation to work out and engage in physical activities. It makes you feel fatigued and less active, and you end up spending the day either desperately yearning for some sleep.
Obsessing over your diet and indulging in strenuous workout regimes is not going to help you lose those extra kilos, as long as you are fretting over the problem of sleeplessness. Make sure to get a few good hours of quality sleep, each night. You will be surprised to see the contribution it makes in your strive to lose weight!
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Author: Dr Sonica Krishan
Dr Sonica Krishan is Author and Speaker in the areas of Healthy and Joyous Living through
Ayurveda, Meditation, Yoga and other Contemplative practices. She is a leading Ayurveda
Professional in India. She is also Health Writer, Columnist, Editor, Ayurveda Consultant and
Holistic Healing Coach.