The Connection Between Sleep and Weight Loss
- Posted on: Aug 28 2018
Does lack of sleep have anything to do with weight loss?
There are a lot of reasons that we should get a good night’s sleep. Starting with childhood, parents have always attempted the herculean task of getting their children to bed at a reasonable hour despite the ever-increasing array of distractions that produce variations on the same pleas that have been used for generations… “just five more minutes”, “just one more story”, “just one more video game”. The struggle continues through the teenage years and, if we are honest, remains with many of us throughout our adult lives.
Despite all of the research that tries to convince us of the benefits of good sleep habits, it is estimated that somewhere in the range of 40% of adults in the U.S. get less than the recommended minimum of 7 hours of sleep each night. What is especially interesting is that, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), almost the exact same percentage, 38.9%, of U.S. adults are classified as obese. What are the chances that this is nothing more than coincidence?
There have always been people who brag about their ability to function at a high level with very little sleep. These are undoubtedly the same ones who profess to enhanced productivity through multi-tasking. Haven’t we always believed, on some level, that both of those claims were suspect? We do better when we bring our full focus on a single task, and our overall health, performance and well-being is enhanced when we get an optimum amount of sleep. This is true in multiple areas. In addition to positive impacts on mental concentration and cognition, our athletic ability is improved and so are our social interactions. Lack of sleep has been linked to heart disease, stroke, depression, blood sugar imbalances leading to diabetes and impaired immune system function.
How Sleep Affects Weight Loss
What a lot of people do not realize, however, is that not getting the proper amount of sleep is also strongly believed to be a major factor in weight gain and the inability to lose excess weight. Studies point to poor or an incorrect amount of sleep as contributing to the following:
Too little sleep:
- Slows the body’s metabolism
- Causes the body to produce more insulin and cortisol which results in increased fat storage, usually in the area of the abdomen
- Affects hormones that regulates hunger (ghrelin) and the feeling of being full (leptin)
- Poor sleep is linked to increased cravings for sugar, fat and carbs
Too much sleep:
- Increased levels of depression, anxiety and mood issues which can lead to excessive eating
- Less physical activity
- Disruption of body’s biorhythms
We lead extremely busy lives, and there are times when it really is difficult to get the full 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night that is recommended. Healthcare professionals recognize that this is inevitable but caution that doing so consistently will be detrimental to health. This includes our physical, mental and emotional well-being. And, it also has a major impact on our ability to reach and maintain our most healthy body weight. It is time to add “consistently getting a good night’s sleep” to our list, right next to a proper diet and sufficient exercise.
The Southern California Center for Anti-Aging focuses on the practice of advanced, preventive and regenerative medicine. We strongly believe correcting imbalances and deficiencies in nutrition, along with improving fitness and balancing and restoring hormones with Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, can help with creating the foundation for a healthier and happier life.
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Posted in: Medical Weight Loss