Is sleep one of the best ways to achieve a healthy weight? Generally, weight loss is considered to be determined by eating habits and the amount of movement one does throughout the day. To achieve a healthy weight we are often told to eat less and exercise more. How accurate are those instructions? Is it really that simple? When we move more we have a tendency to eat more, generally craving carbohydrates to replenish our waning energy supply. Sometimes we eat many more calories than we have burned. Ever feel like it literally impossible to lose those unwanted pounds? Some researchers are now saying that lack of sleep is the culprit. We have very active lifestyles. Living our daily life encompasses working a minimal of 35 – 40 hours a week. And if we have time to incorporate exercising, whether it’s taking a walk after a meal or going to the gym will encourage a healthy appetite and also take away from our time to rest. Getting enough sleep maybe, more important than you realize. Sleep allows your body to rest and regenerate vital cell functions that have been destroyed by stress. Sleep is the key component of proper digestion and rebuilding of muscle tissues and other organs after a strenuous workout. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approximate that more than 35 percent of the population is sleep deprived. The statistic for obesity is practically identical. Understanding the correlation between inadequate sleep patterns and weight loss does not seem practical. I did some research to better understand how it works. As a rule of thumb people generally, think that weight loss is controlled by our ability to reduce the amount of food we consume and the amount of exercise we perform and that exercise increases the appetite which causes hunger. However, hunger is controlled by the hormones: leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is a hormone that is produced by our fat cells. The less leptin you produce, the hungrier you feel. The production of ghrelin stimulates hunger while also reducing the number of calories you burn by slowing your metabolism and increasing the amount of fat you store. Consequently, the need to control leptin and ghrelin is utmost for successfully lose weight; sleep deprivation makes that nearly impossible. Research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that sleeping less than six hours triggers the area of your brain that increases your need for food while also depressing leptin and stimulating ghrelin.
Moreover, scientists have discovered exactly how sleep loss creates an internal battle that makes it virtually impossible to lose weight. When you don’t sleep enough, your body produces more cortisol. This stress hormone is frequently associated with fat production and weight gain. Cortisol activates the reward centers in your brain that create a desire for food. Subsequently, insufficient sleep causes your body to produce more ghrelin. Combined high levels ghrelin and cortisol shut down the areas of your brain that leave you feeling satiated after a meal, implicating a sense of hunger all the time regarding the whether or not you have had a meal. Sleep deprivation impairs frontal lobe activity in the brain leaving us almost incapable of making the right decision about our food choices. Unfortunately, this happens after just one night of insufficient sleep. Establishing set sleep patterns can quickly and effortlessly invigorate your mind, body, and spirit. When you’re not able to get a full eight hours each night, taking a nap during the day will revive your energy levels and stimulate cell growth. Not getting enough sleep can be detrimental to your health. Sleep, anyone? “Adrienne Vanterpool”