By: Ahmed Eid, Coach at Stadium
It’s true—being short on sleep can really affect your weight. While you weren’t sleeping, your body cooked up the perfect recipe for weight gain.
Sleep is like nutrition for the brain. Most people need between 7 and 9 hours each night. Get less than that, and your body will react in ways that won’t work with your diet. Why? Because insufficient sleep impacts your hunger and fullness hormones, including two hormones called ghrelin and leptin.
Ghrelin signals your brain that it’s time to eat. When you’re sleep-deprived, your body makes more ghrelin. Leptin, on the other hand, cues your brain to put the fork down. When you’re not getting enough sleep, leptin levels plummet, signaling your brain to eat more food.
Put the two together, and it’s no wonder sleep deprivation leads to overeating and extra pounds!
Then, there’s the cortisol spike that comes from too little sleep. This stress hormone signals your body to conserve energy to fuel your waking hours. Researchers found that when dieters cut back on sleep over a 14-day period, the amount of weight they lost from fat dropped by 55%, even though their calories consumed stayed the same. They felt hungrier and less satisfied after meals, and their energy was zapped.
So here’s a good excuse to snooze! Sleep well…weigh less!