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Sleep & Weight Loss: What Is The Influence Of Sleepless Nights On Weight Gain?

What to do when the scale reveals those extra kilos? Most people search for the famous miracle diets and physical exercise, but they must remember the important relationship between sleep and weight loss

Even though food and physical activity are important for weight loss, few stop to think about the relationship between sleep and weight loss. 

Sleeping well helps in the functioning of the whole body. During sleep, there are several secretions of hormones that, if not properly balanced, can influence weight gain. 

Therefore, the quantity and quality of sleep are issues that must be considered by those who want to eliminate extra pounds. 

In this article, you will discover how a good night’s sleep is essential for weight loss. Continue reading to find out more! 

Lack Of Sleep And Weight Loss: What Is The Relationship?

Several studies associate a reduction in hours of sleep with an increase in the Body Mass Index (BMI) and the development of obesity. These surveys analyzed data from diverse groups, from children to adults, and found strong evidence of relationships between these factors.

But how does lack of sleep interfere with body processes to the point of causing weight gain? That’s what you’ll discover in the next topics.

Imbalance In The Production Of Ghrelin And Leptin

Those who don’t get a good night’s sleep can consume up to 500 calories more than they normally consume. This resulted from a study by the Institute of 

This high consumption of calories is justified because the satiety hormone (leptin) is under-produced, while the hunger hormone (ghrelin) is high. Who never felt like eating chocolate or that plate of pasta after a bad night’s sleep? 

Increased Stress

Those who sleep badly also have impaired cortisol levels. This hormone helps increase body fat by sending extra energy to the blood through glucose. 

Cortisol is also popularly known as the stress hormone. The body tends to accumulate abdominal fat when altered, influencing mood and disposition. 

And, of course, when irritation and anxiety take over, the tendency is to lose control of food. 

Metabolism Imbalance

Few hours of sleep affects metabolism to impair immunity and antibody production. This is because prolactin levels become unbalanced, which leads to a weakened immune system. 

As a result, we have difficulty concentrating and the desire to eat carbohydrates during the day. 

Difficulty Gaining Muscle

Those who do not sleep well have losses in producing the hormone GH in the body. The lack of this substance makes it difficult for muscles to grow. In addition, research published in the scientific journal Science Advances showed that lack of adequate sleep can reduce protein levels; it harms those primarily responsible for muscle formation. 

To arrive at this result, a study was carried out with muscle and fat samples from a group of men on two occasions: after a good night’s sleep and after a sleepless night. 

And what does this have to do with slimming? Very! Each pound of muscle in the body burns 60 to 100 more calories per day. This means that adding 5 kg of muscle increases your daily caloric expenditure by 500 calories per day at rest, with no effort.

Therefore, caloric expenditure will be lower if sleep impairs muscle mass gain. As a result, it will be more difficult to lose weight or maintain it.

Increases Exposure Time To Food

Those who sleep about 8 hours a night reduce their exposure time to food and their feeling of hunger. You’ve probably already experienced this situation, either because of the habit of sleeping late or out of necessity.

Imagine a person who has dinner around 6 or 7 pm and goes to bed around 9 pm. It is unlikely that she will feel hungry in this short interval.

On the other hand, the person who sleeps around midnight, either because he goes to college or works late, often feels hungry after 10 pm. Thus, she attacks the fridge or cupboard and, in other cases, has a fourth meal at this time.

Therefore, those who stay awake longer often increase their exposure time to food and, as we said, to the feeling of hunger. One extra meal a day over a year can lead to a considerable caloric surplus.

How Does Sleeping Badly Affect The Body?

Adults typically have about four or five periods of sleep during the night. During the first half hour of the deep sleep stage, the hormone somatropin (GH) has its peaks of secretion. It is also during this period that its greatest absorption occurs. 

Somatropin is the hormone directly linked to the growth process of children. In the previous topic, we also saw that it increases muscle mass in adults and even in the renewal of skin cells. 

It also helps maintain tone, fights osteoporosis, improves physical performance, and prevents fat accumulation. Losing hours of sleep affects all these areas.

During sleep, blood pressure and heart rate are reduced; ensuring that the cardiac system rests and regenerates is important. 

During sleep hours, the rest and recovery process also produces hormones that control circulation. When, in the morning, hormone levels are not in order, the body is more prone to cardiovascular problems such as hypertension and heart disease.


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