Does sleep deprivation affect your weight?June 27, 2019 1:19 pm Comments Off on Does sleep deprivation affect your weight?
Have you ever woken up after limited sleep uncertain of how you will survive the day? You grab the biggest latte to wake you up, maybe two and get takeaway for lunch instead of sticking to your weight loss meal plans because you slept in and didn’t have time to make anything. In the afternoon to perk you up, you have a chocolate and then convince yourself it’s ok to skip the gym because you’re too tired… Before you know it, your diet plans are out the window and you have exceeded your recommended calories per day.
Yes, a lack of sleep can result in a number of poor choices and if done too often, may impact your waistline. But our waistline isn’t the only thing affected by a lack of sleep. Research shows that sleep deprivation can lead to poor decision making, affect our learning ability, our memory, emotional state and even our immune system.
How may a lack of sleep affect our weight?
Some studies suggest that a lack of sleep could result in increased hunger (affects our hunger and satiety hormones) and can increase our desire and opportunity to eat (especially if we are up late consuming high fat or sugary foods instead of low calorie snacks). It may alter the way we burn calories to lose weight and can increase our fatigue, which means that we are less likely to exercise or do strenuous work and more likely to sit on the couch watching TV.
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How much sleep do we need?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, an adult should get an average of 7 to 9 hours sleep per night.
Are you getting your sleep?
We all at times don’t get enough sleep but making sleep time a priority may benefit not only our waistline but our general well-being too.
How can you improve your sleep?
Make a genuine effort to go to bed earlier and get good quality sleep. How? Try:
- Setting up a sleep schedule e.g. a set time that you will go to sleep and wake up by
- Creating a sleep conducive environment e.g. relaxing, dark, comfortable, good temperature
- Reduce blue light exposure especially at night e.g. from electronic devices such as smart phones, computers, TV etc. Aim to stop using these 1 to 2 hours before bed
- Avoid consuming caffeine later in the day
- Exercise regularly but not too close to sleep time