If you’re having a hard time understanding why you can’t lose weight despite all your efforts, then chances are, you might not be sleeping enough at night. It doesn’t necessarily have to do with sleep deprivation, but you are definitely not sleeping the way you should: your sleep quality isn’t at its best, and you are probably not getting the amount of sleep you think you need.
Sleep Deprivation and Weight Gain
In one of our previous article talking about sleep deprivation and the benefits of adjustable beds, we talked about how there was a tight link between sleep and weight, as sleep deprivation could be one of the reasons you might be experiencing dramatic weight gain.
Here are many ways to understand why lack of sleeping can be the cause of your weight gain:
The less you sleep, the more you produce your hunger hormone
When you’re not sleeping enough, the production of hormones gets a bit out of hands. Lack of sleep may cause your body to over-produce a hormone called “ghrelin”, which is responsible for making you hungry.
What’s worth talking about is the fact that how much sleep you need or how many hours of sleep doesn’t really matter when it comes to the overproduction of ghrelin, in the sense that you could be very well missing only half an hour of sleep and that enough would make the ghrelin production go out of control.
Related Articles: How to prevent nightmares from disturbing your sleep
The less you sleep, the less you produce your satiety hormone
Let’s keep talking about hormones for a while. When you are not sleeping, the hormone responsible for satiety, also known as “leptin”, isn’t produced. Which means that, when you are lacking sleep, your body is not able to make you feel full, and automatically, you tend to feel much hungrier than usual.
The thing is, when you’re not sleeping, not only don’t you produce leptin to not feel like eating, but on top of that, you also produce a lot of ghrelin, which makes you feel hungry all the time. It is thus only natural for you to gain weight when sleep deprived, because your body requests food all the time.
When you don’t get enough sleep, your metabolism is slowed down
- It is quite curious to see how much effect sleep has on your body.
- Not only does it disturb your hormone production, but it also slows your metabolism then, making you hence gain weight.
- To put it simply, when you are suffering from sleep deprivation, your thyroid, which is an organ responsible for regulating your hormones, produces less hormones which boost the metabolic rate.
- Moreover, not sleeping enough causes your body to process glucose properly, and that is how you end up with more glucose in your system than you should. And that leads to gaining weight.
When you don’t get enough sleep, exercise seems an impossible task to achieve
When you are not sleeping as much or as properly as you should, you tend to feel exhausted during the whole day.
That has a dramatic impact on your mood as your motivation drops to its lowest. Which naturally takes you away from exercising.
If you are used to going for a run in the morning, you would naturally prioritize getting more sleep instead or drinking more coffee after a night of practically no sleep. And if you are used to exercising in the evening, you will obviously refrain yourself from doing so because the exhaustion from the whole day will be getting to your mind and your body at that time of the day, and you will systematically opt for trying to sleep earlier rather than exercise.
Needless to say, not being able to exercise when sleep deprived is another reason you can’t seem to be able to lose weight. This is why we recommended energy boosting food and drinks for a good night’s sleep on a previous article.
Lack of sleep makes you crave junk food instead of paying attention to your diet
When you are not getting the sleep you need, making decisions and simply thinking properly becomes a hard task.
And that is how you find yourself eating junk food without even realizing that it is bad for your health. Saying no to burgers or pizza is something you don’t even think about, as such greasy snacks help diminish the hunger faster than any other foods.
Not only that, but when you’re not sleeping, you get more prone to stress, which makes your body release cortisol, the stress hormone. Not only does this hormone make you hungry, but it also makes you crave junk food because it is what takes the least time to prepare and what makes you feel full the fastest.
If you want to avoid putting on weight while being sleep deprived, you might want to find a way to overcome your lack of sleep as shown in our article talking about sleep deprivation and the benefits of adjustable beds on it.
If you can’t deal with sleep deprivation, you can at least try the following tips:
- Even if it is hard, try paying attention to what you eat. A little discipline won’t harm anyone.
- Try using exercising as a way to fall asleep faster at night and at the same time prevent yourself form gaining weight.
- Don’t buy junk food so you can’t find any when you are craving it.
- Fill your fridge with vegetables and healthy food to make sure you are eating healthily.
- Fill your stomach with water whenever you feel hungry when you actually shouldn’t.