Is Sleep Making you Gain Weight?

Busy schedules, kids activities, homework, housework, volunteering, PTO, Church, Community organizations, paying bills and working…  Our days seem to keep getting more and more full as each one passes.

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The days begin earlier and last later into the evening as we try to fit it all in…  What is the cost of our decreased sleep?

A lack of sleep can contribute to an increasing waist line as well as other diseases and ailments, but how?

Lack of Sleep Changes Hormone Levels in the Body.

 Hormones direct our bodies and make the many systems work. When we are sleep deprived those hormone levels are affected and our body doesn’t work at optimum  levels.

These upset hormone levels make sleep-deprived people hungrier.Sleep_deprived_hormones

Awake More Hours = More Time to Eat More Calories

When we spend more time awake, we have more time to shovel more calories into our mouths. Our bodies are designed to work best with 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

When we begin forcing 30 hours of activities in 24 hours it is easy to slip into auto-pilot as we are working through everything.  The mindset of auto-pilot causes us to shovel unknown amounts of non-health promoting foods into our mouths.  Mindful Based Stress Reduction classes can assist in learning to remain mindful about foods, activities, stresses, and life in general to prevent the mindless eating that causes so much havoc on our bodies.

Short Sleepers are 30% More Likely to Gain 30 Pounds.

The Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, of 60,000 women who were followed for over 16 years found that women who got 5 hours or less of sleep per day were 15% more likely to become obese and were 30% more likely to gain 30 pounds over the course of the study than those who slept 7-8 hours per day.

Also, those sleep deprived found that the tiredness reduced their will to exercise and burn off the calories.

Lack of Sleep is a Stressor

People lacking sleep have added stress on the body. Stress releases cortisol and other hormones that add to weight gain around the middle. Visceral fat, the bad stuff that contributes to heart disease and diabetes.

High levels of Cortisol lead to the continual need to eat more high-calorie foods which in turn lead to being overweight or obese-due to increased caloric intake. People who stressed eat, not only to feel better when they are stressed, anxious, and depressed, they are actually propelled to eating more by the stress hormones.

Glucose Metabolism is Impaired

According to the 1999 study at the University of Chicago, restricting sleep to 4 hours for just six nights impaired glucose metabolism.  Impaired = Slowed.  It takes much more insulin to maintain the body’s blood sugar levels.

Lack of Sleep isn’t the only Problem

Lack of sleep is not the only reason why people gain weight/fat, develop heart diseases, diabetes, and other diseases, but research definitely points to the fact that it doesn’t make it any easier to maintain a healthy weight.

Lack of Sleep

After walking Relay for Life this past weekend and only getting 4 total hours of sleep between Saturday morning and Sunday night, I can attest to the fact that I DID eat more, I did find myself craving foods, and it is taking me time to balance my system after the abuse of the weekend. I am thankful that Bill stopped in to walk an hour for me.

For more information or coaching opportunities, contact me.

Make it a GREAT day!

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