Is Lack of Sleep Making You Fat?
by Theresa Grisanti, MA, CHHC
Research shows that people who sleep less than 5 hours or more than 9 hours a night are more likely to be over weight. The less sleep they get the higher their BMI will be.
But how could sleep affect your weight?
The ResearchThere are two key hormones at play in the connection between sleep and weight. The first is ghrelin which tells the body when to eat. The second is leptin, the counter to ghrelin, that tells the body when to stop eating because it is satisfied.¹
A joint research project with researchers at Stanford and the University of Wisconsin found when a person gets less than 8 hours of sleep the levels of ghrelin jump significantly and leptin drops. The result is a 45% increase in cravings for high carbohydrate, calorie dense foods to provide additional energy to support the body’s needs. ²
The reason for this, is the body recognizes the need for more energy when sleep deprived. Our infinitely intelligent body therefore creates an environment where we will consume more food, especially carbohydrates which are quick sources of energy, so we can meet the body’s needs over the course of the day.
These studies show not only a change in hormone levels based on the amount of sleep but also a correlation between the sleeping patterns and level of weight gain. The less a person sleeps, the more they weigh. Researchers continue on to suggest this can contribute to a reduced energy expenditure in conjunction with higher caloric intake.²
The result is added weight gain and more difficulty with weight loss.
Getting sufficient sleep is essential for the body to achieve and maintain a normal, healthy weight.
If weight loss is a New Year’s Resolution for you, remember that according to Ayervedic medicine every hour of sleep before midnight is equivalent to 3 hours of sleep after midnight. So go to bed early so you can get up early if you need more productive time in your day. Your body will thank you for it by being healthier and help you to shed unwanted pounds.
Theresa Grisanti has been studying and applying her understanding of health, nutrition and intuitive eating for more than 15 years. Her training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, included instruction from leaders in the holistic healing field, such as Andrew Weil and Mona Lisa Schultz. Find out more about Theresa's new program Break Free From Dieting and learn how to lose weight the natural way.