You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize that lack of sleep affects your weight and performance. If you’re tired, you not only reach for those jelly donuts to give you a sugar boost, but also drift off during work, expending more energy on staying awake than actually accomplishing anything of importance. There are other reasons that aren’t quite as obvious that cause sleep deprivation to affect both weight and all aspects of your life.
Besides the urge to eat a box of Ding Dongs, sleep deprivation affects your weight in other ways.
Your body needs adequate sleep to keep all systems going full force. You need it to make repairs in the body and prepare it for your next day’s tasks. When you’re sleep-deprived your body creates more cortisol, the stress hormone. Cortisol also makes you hungrier. With your brain already foggy, it’s hard to resist anything sugary or excessively fattening.
Sleep deprivation messes with other hormones besides cortisol.
Lack of sleep causes your ghrelin levels to rise. Those are the hormones that tell your body that you’re hungry and need to eat. To make matters worse, it lowers your leptin hormones, those that tell your body that you’re full. If you don’t get enough sleep, it starts shutting down the mitochondria, the little furnaces in the cells. In turn, not all the sugar is processed and you end up with higher blood sugar levels. That can be the start of insulin resistance, the start of type 2 diabetes.
Lack of sleep affects your work and your workout.
If you’re finding your memory is not as good as it should be, don’t blame it on aging if you’re only getting a few hours of sleep every night. Lack of sleep slows your cognitive thinking processes, affects your memory and lowers your desire to accomplish anything. That can’t be good on any type of job. Not only does it affect your work and your desire to work, it affects your workout in the same ways, plus other ways. Your body heals best during sleep, so recovery after exercise is thwarted. One study showed that sprinters increased their sprinting times over a three week period when they improved their sleep patterns.
- It doesn’t take much to be sleep-deprived, either. Just getting a half hour less sleep five days a week can dramatically increase your risk of both diabetes and obesity.
- When you lack sleep, your body goes into survival mode. That means it slows your metabolism and burns calories slower. That’s a huge reason to get plenty of ZZZs.
- Lack of sleep is linked to many serious conditions, such as osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer and many cognitive issues.
- Exercise can help you have a better quality of sleep, but getting into the sack on time is still the responsibility of each person. Turning off any devices, like TVs and creating a dark environment helps.