Contrary to popular opinion, those who sleep the least actually weigh the most. We assume that more waking hours means burning more calories, but the reality is we need sleep for our bodies to function optimally. Studies are now showing that less sleep leads to increased hunger the next day. Less sleep also increases fat deposits around your waistline. Basically, your body regulates to burn fewer calories if you sleep less. You feel more fatigued and you have less energy, so you have less inclination to care about prepping meals and packing snacks. When you're rundown, everything is laborious and cumbersome. And typically, you will eat out more and make poorer choices because you're simply too tired to think about healthy food. There is a psychological and physical component to hunger. Additionally, when you're sleep-deprived, your ghrelin (hunger hormone) increases and your leptin (which suppresses your appetite) decreases. So less sleep means you are more vulnerable to hunger pangs and binges.
It is important to note that, when it comes to sleep, everyone is different. Some of us can get away with six hours, while others need nine. It really depends on your age and level of physical exertion. On average, people who slept less than five hours per day were 73 percent more likely to gain weight and become obese. And those with less than six hours of sleep were 27 percent more likely to become obese. With each hour lost, weight gain is greater due to the rising ghrelin and falling leptin associated with sleep deprivation.
In general, when it comes to shedding pounds, you'd be better off sleeping and being rested than killing yourself to get to the gym. I like to suggest people schedule some exercise, but prioritize their precious sleep first.
More Answers from Manuel Villacorta