There’s no secret that not getting enough sleep can impact your weight loss goals. There are a few scientific and biological mechanisms that explain why the less sleep you get, the more weight you gain.
Hunger Hormones For Weight Loss?
Hunger is controlled by two hormones leptin and ghrelin. These two hormones are known to affect your overall weight.
What Is Leptin And What Does Leptin Do?
Leptin is a hormone which predominantly helps regulate energy by balancing the hunger suppression. The less leptin you produce, the more your stomach feels empty. The less full you feel, the more you over indulge.
What Is Ghrelin And What Does Ghrelin Do?
Ghrelin is a hormone that stimulates hunger. In fact, there has been research done that has shown that sleeping fewer than six hours reduces leptin and stimulates ghrelin. Basically, not getting enough sleep means you’re constantly feeling hungry and you’re more inclined to binge eat.
Leptin and Ghrelin
As if all these hormonal issues weren’t enough for us to gain weight, there’s also the factor that when you don’t get enough sleep, your brain tends to be less resistant to junk food and binge eating. That’s probably the reason why half of us can chow down on a bar of chocolate or eat an entire super size style French fry. While we weren’t sleeping, our bodies were busy cooking up the perfect recipe for weight gain. When we are short on sleep, it’s easy for us to lean on a large latte to get us through the day. In our busy hustle and bustle of life, it’s understandable to miss a couple nights of sleep. The problem is, more than a third of Americans aren’t getting enough sleep on a regular basis! The connection between weight gain and sleep is hard to ignore. Research has found that women who are sleep deprived are third more likely to gain at least 30 pounds or more over the next few years then those who sleep eight to six hours per night. With all of the connections to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure, and cognitive failure, the benefits of sleep goes far beyond just losing weight.
How Many Hours Of Sleep Do I Need?
A good rule of thumb is to receive between six to eight hours of sleep per night. Everyone has at least one poor night of sleep, just make sure it isn’t followed up with a few more sleepless nights or you will increase your chances not to lose weight. It might not seem like much, but it could make all the difference in your weight loss goals. Conclusion, get your sleep because it is one of the best ways to lose weight!
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Posted on behalf of Dr. David G. Davtyan MD, FACS, FICS