Sleep. It’s restorative to the human brain and holds healing properties beyond measure for the body.
Most don’t pay due attention to the importance of adequate sleep until they hear how it can not only hinder weight loss but actually cause weight gain.
So, here’s the 411 on sleep.
Can one function on 3-4 hours per night? Sure. But that’s usually accompanied by a few pots or pills of caffeine and many of us have fallen victim to that “quick fix” routine.
According to Health.gov, [most] adults require 7-8 hours of quality sleep on a regular schedule. Children, on the other hand (parents, this is for you…), are different. Teens need 8-10 hours a night, while children who are in school may require 9-12 hours.
Not getting adequate, quality sleep can literally wreak havoc on your body. Contrary to popular belief, sleep isn’t only about when your body is resting physically but also constitutes when all of your inner-workings are healing, repairing, and replenishing.
Healthline lists a number of problems that are likely to occur should you not get ample rest:
- Brain function. Your brain forms connections during sleep to aid in memory processing. Think of how foggy and unclear you can become when sleep deprived. Memory issues and difficulty concentrating can easily be traced back to sleep deprivation.
- Weakened immunity. Infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep. This weakens your system’s defenses against viruses like those that cause the common cold.
- Heart issues. Sleep is involved in the healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Prolonged sleep deprivation can easily increase your risk of high blood pressure and even heart disease.
- Diabetes. A lack of sleep affects your body’s release of many hormones, one being insulin, which is vital to the regulation of blood sugar. Those who aren’t getting enough sleep can have higher blood sugar levels, increasing the risk of Type II Diabetes.
- Gaining weight. The brain releases hormones that signal your body to tell it when it’s full as well as when it’s hungry.
One way to think about sleep function is to compare it to other life-sustaining activities, such as eating. “Hunger is a protective mechanism that has evolved to ensure that we consume the nutrients our bodies require to grow, repair tissues, and function properly. …Eating and sleeping are not as different as they might seem,” the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School says.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), around 30 percent of adults don’t get enough sleep. Consider, for a moment, that the statistic for obesity is horrifically mirrored. It’s easy to connect the dots and discover that the connection between the two is not by chance.
“Not sleeping enough can reduce and undo the benefits of dieting,” states the Annals of Internal Medicine.
In an article entitled, “The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Your Body” published by Healthline, the staff points out that the digestive system may very well be put in danger should you not get enough sleep. “Along with eating too much and not exercising, sleep deprivation is another risk factor for becoming overweight and obese. Sleep affects the levels of two hormones, leptin, and ghrelin, which control feelings of hunger and fullness.”
Leptin speaks to your brain and assures you’ve had enough to eat after a meal. Without proper sleep, your brain then reduces leptin and raises ghrelin, which is an appetite stimulant. And guess what? The flux of these hormones could explain nighttime snacking, or even why someone may overeat at night.
Healthline goes on to say that a lack of sleep can also make you feel too tired to even exercise should you not get the recommended amount of sleep every night. Over time, reduced physical activity can make you gain weight because you’re not burning enough calories and not building muscle mass.
The National Sleep Foundation warns, that when the body doesn’t get the sleep it needs to perform the most basic of functions, your appetite can also go into overdrive. “When you don’t get enough sleep, you may feel hungrier than usual and crave high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods in particular. Your body’s fullness (satiety) signals also get thrown out of whack. These effects can lead to unwanted weight gain.”
So, what’s the bottom line? Sleep rules in more ways than one, especially when you’re on a weight loss journey to empowerment.
To learn more about how Empowering Punch can assist you on your weight loss journey, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will get you on track and once again, educate you from the get-go so you’ll be able to make it the REST of the way with confidence.
Stay empowered, friends, and follow our story on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest!