15 Ways Lack of Sleep Is Causing Weight Gain from 15 Ways Lack of Sleep Is Causing Weight Gain

15 Ways Lack of Sleep Is Causing Weight Gain

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15 Ways Lack of Sleep Is Causing Weight Gain

A good night’s sleep helps us feel better, both mentally and physically. Depriving ourselves from sleep can lead to serious health problems, one of them being weight gain.

Lack of sleep is associated with increased hunger and appetite, ultimately resulting in weight gain. According to a 2004 study, people who sleep fewer than six hours a day were almost 30 percent more likely to become obese than those who slept seven to nine hours, WebMD says.

“It’s imperative to get enough sleep or you will feel sluggish, fatigued and weak,” says Michelle Roots, owner and personal trainer at CORE Conditioning. People who are too tired will have less energy to push as hard as they want during their workouts or they will end up skipping their workouts altogether, she says.

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Tiredness Leads to Skipped Workouts

Have you considered the impact of a good night’s sleep on your workouts? It’s imperative to get enough sleep or you will feel sluggish, fatigued, and weak. “It is more likely that when you didn't get a good night's sleep, your workout will be the first thing that is skipped,” says Michelle Roots, owner and personal trainer at CORE Conditioning.

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Less Energy to Push Yourself in Your Workout

“The key to weight loss is eating less and exercising more, but in order to avoid plateau [and] keep consistent weight loss progress you have to be able to push yourself harder in your workouts,” Roots says. “If you did not get a good night’s sleep you will lack the energy to do so.”

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Increased Cortisol Levels

“When sleep is low, cortisol levels [the stress hormone] may be high which can cause an increase in appetite,” Roots says.

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Lack of Hunger Hormone Balance

“Leptin and ghrelin are the hunger hormones and lack of sleep can put these hormones out of whack,” Roots says. “Leptin is responsible for signaling satiety (fullness) and ghrelin triggers hunger, when you didn't get enough sleep the levels of these hormones can be out of balance causing an increase in cravings and hunger.”

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Slowed Metabolism

“Metabolism is basically the amount of energy (or calories) your body burns to perform all of its functions throughout the day,” Roots says. A long-term lack of sleep can slow down the metabolism, which could result in weight gain, she adds. After a good night’s sleep, you will wake up with more energy and will be in the right mindset to make better food choices.

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Less Energy to Cook a Healthy Meal

“After a long day it's hard enough to find the energy to cook a healthy meal at home instead of opting for the easy way out (fast food), but with lack of sleep this challenge becomes even more difficult,” Roots says. “These trips to the drive thru in combination with lack of exercise can quickly result in weight gain.”

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Increased Caffeine Intake

“The more tired you are, the more caffeine you will feel you need to function throughout the day; however, this will cause a never ending cycle of no sleep,” Roots explains. “Drinking caffeinated beverages later in the day will affect the quality of sleep you get that night resulting in being more tired the next day etc. (See how this can become a horrible cycle?).”

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Increased Cravings for Sugary Snacks and Junk Food

“You might not be hungry, but with lack of sleep you might find yourself craving snacks that are higher in sugar as a way to find an little energy boost midday,” Roots says. “These sugary snacks are actually not necessary and can quickly add up to cause weight gain.”

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Lack of Sleep Changes Your Fat Cells

“After a few days of limited sleep consecutively the hormones that control your fat cells become disrupted and are not able to properly use insulin,” Roots says. “This effects your fat cells ability to remove fatty acids and lipids from your blood stream and prevent fat storage.” An increase in fat circulating in your blood will cause an increase in insulin and eventually result in more fat storage in all the wrong places, she adds.

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Decreased Protein Synthesis

“Your body recovers while you sleep, especially building of muscles that you work so hard for in the gym,” Roots says. “Less protein synthesis due to sleep debt can cause muscle loss, which in turn will cause a decrease in basal metabolic rate.”

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Increased Stress Levels

“Feeling tired all the time and not having the energy to perform your daily activities in life can effect your stress levels,” Roots says. “Increased stress on a regular basis can lead to weight gain.”

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Less Sleep = More Time to Eat

“If you are sleeping less, this is more times throughout the day that could possibly be taken up by eating,” Roots says. “If you are sleeping 2 hours less each day, this means you have 2 more hours that could be used for unnecessary late-night snacking.”

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Increased Alcohol Intake

“Many people who sleep less or have trouble sleeping might feel that having a glass of wine or alcoholic beverage before bed might help them relax,” Roots says. The truth is that these unnecessary drinks add up in calories and could lead to weight gain, she adds.

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Increased Negativity or Bad Mood

“When you sleep less, you might be in a bad mood during the day which could lead to negative thoughts about your weight, workouts, or life in general,” Roots says. “These negative thoughts and ‘I'm too tired to care’ attitude could lead to eating more and, in turn, weight gain.”

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Weakened Immune System

“Lack of sleep can cause a decrease in your body’s ability to fight sickness,” Roots explains. “If you get sick you are less likely to eat your regular healthy foods, nor will you be able to work out as hard (or at all).” People who get sick more often could suffer from weight gain, she adds.

15 Ways Lack of Sleep Is Causing Weight Gain