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Lack of sleep is rampant in our fast-paced society. In this video, Dr. Robin Miller explains how a lack of sleep can affect your body and your waistline.
Find out more about this book:YOU: On A Diet Revised Edition: The Owner's Manual for Waist Management
Sleep deprivation increases hunger and slows down metabolism, thereby promoting weight gain. The underlying mechanisms include:Increasing the level of cortisol, thereby promoting increased appetite, a craving for sugar, and weight gain. An elevated cortisol level also interferes with proper utilization of carbohydrates, leading to an increase in the storage of body fat and insulin resistance, a critical step in the development of obesity and diabetes. Elevating ghrelin and reducing leptin. Ghrelin is an appetite-stimulating hormone released mostly by the stomach. When ghrelin levels are up, people feel hungry. Leptin is a hormone, released by fat cells, that promotes a feeling of satiety.
In population studies, a dose-response relationship between short sleep duration and high body mass index (BMI) has been reported across all age groups. This observation alone indicates that sleeping more may help with weight loss. A very detailed analysis from the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study, a large sleep study that has been going on in Wisconsin for more than 15 years, provides even more insight. The participants have been filling out questionnaires about their sleep habits, have kept sleep diaries, and have occasionally spent a night in the laboratory, where researchers studied their sleep in more detail. After sleeping overnight in the laboratory, the participants gave blood samples, which were tested for levels of leptin and ghrelin. What the researchers found is that habitual or acute short sleep duration produces low leptin and high ghrelin levels, a powerful recipe for an increased appetite and for a craving for carbohydrate-rich foods, including cake, candy, ice cream, pasta, and bread.
This is very interesting stuff! Lack of sleep can contribute to weight gain in a number of ways. If you are not sleeping, chances are that you are consuming more calories, and this would make sense for weight gain. But in addition to this, sleep deprivation alters hormones in the body that help us make healthy food choices. Sleep deprivation also increases the chances of heart disease and diabetes by increasing insulin resistance, the method on how your body regulates blood sugar levels. Research studies have shown that even one night of total sleep deprivation can have significantly negative results...so make sure you get plenty of rest.