Sleep is tied to everything. Your mental health and physical well-being are both dependent on getting enough good quality sleep every night. If you don’t sleep properly you are at risk of a range of short term problems and long term issues. One of the health problems that people who don’t sleep enough suffer from is obesity and weight gain. This happens for a number of reasons:
A lack of sleep can lead to a number of bad habits that, over time, lead to weight gain. The first of these bad habits is snacking for energy during the day. When you are tired you have to run on energy from food and drinks. This means sugary drinks, sweets, chocolate and other ‘bad’ snack foods. Snacking for energy regularly will, almost certainly result in weight gain.
Another bad habit that develops as a result of not sleeping enough is late night snacking and binge eating. Studies have proven that people who stay up later are more likely to snack late at night, than those who go to sleep at a reasonable time. Eating late at night and just before you go to sleep causes weight gain. So not only will you be eating more, but you will be eating at the worst time of day.
In fact, it is strongly asserted that a lack of sleep drives a desire to consume more food in general, which certainly won’t do your waist band any favours.
When you don’t sleep properly, you get tired. Of this there is no denying. When you are tired you won’t go on a jog, go to the gym or play sport of any kind. Laziness and a sedentary lifestyle is one of the main factors that contribute towards weight gain. Moreover, those who exercise regularly tend to sleep much better than those who don’t and are able to get to sleep at a sensible hour.
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Recent research has indicated that when you are sleep deprived, your fat cells are less receptive to insulin that when you get the optimum amount of sleep. Insulin controls blood sugar levels and when your fat cells are less receptive to it, you are prone to weight gain, obesity and even diabetes.
Not only is sleep tied to weight gain, but it is also related to loss. A recent study by Laval University found that obese people who slept more, as part of a wider weight loss program, lost more weight than those who slept less.
What Can You Do?
The solution is straight forward; sleep more. The average adult requires between 7 to 9 hours every night. Any less than this will trigger some of the above issues. Any more and you risk oversleeping; this carries other risks and side-effects. The quality of the mattress that you sleep on is also a factor. A bad or cheap mattress can agitate other health problems and cause new ones. Many people skimp on buying a great mattress because of the cost. However there are plenty of top quality bargain mattresses out there. Obviously just getting more sleep won’t cause the pounds to drop off. A healthy diet and exercise is also vital.