Most people know that sleep is vital to adequate functioning. However, many do not realize that poor sleep can lead to weight problems, including weight gain and dietary stagnation.
Therefore, when focusing on weight loss, it is crucial to get at least seven to nine hours of sleep recommended by most sleep professionals. With the appropriate amount of sleep, your body will function the way into is designed to, and your brain will receive the break it needs to process and enforce natural order.
Poor sleep can lead to poorer impulse control. Additionally, an unbalanced sleep schedule can lead to biological changes, leading to a metabolism slow down.
Lack of Sleep Leads To Poor Decisions
When you do not get enough sleep, your brain does not function optimally. Several studies show that poor sleep reduces activity in the frontal lobe, which is the primary location for decision-making and impulse control.
Additionally, when the body is overtired, the brain's reward centers go into hyperdrive, causing the active search for something to feel good. Comfort food cravings are no match for a tired brain.
According to a Journal of Clinical Nutrition study, late-night snacking increases when people are deprived of sleep. A second study by the University of Chicago found that sleep-deprived participants also chose unhealthy snacks. Finally, another study found tired participants were more likely to eat larger portions, with increased cravings for high-carbohydrate, energy-dense foods.
Poor Sleep Causes Stress and a Metabolism Slow Down
Cortisol spikes when people get too little sleep. The rush of the stress hormone tells your body to conserve energy, to store it in the only way the body knows how: fat.
Research suggests that sleep loss curbs dietary expectations. People can maintain a diet with specific calories, but they can expect reduced weight loss, greater hunger, and less energy if they are not getting adequate sleep.
According to researchers at the University of Chicago, insufficient sleep inhibits your body's ability to process insulin. Without an adequate supply of insulin, your body has trouble absorbing fat from the bloodstream, resulting in the storage of fat cells and potential weight gain.
Improving Quantity and Quality of Sleep
If you currently struggle to get seven to nine hours of sleep per night, you might be sleep-deprived. Sleep loss is not uncommon today because of the number of screens and devices vying for your attention.
If you want to improve your sleep, it is necessary to specify and stick to a sleep schedule or bedtime ritual. The ritual should include turning off all screens about an hour before bed. Additionally, reserve your bedroom for sleep and intimacy rather than work and entertainment.
You can choose to do relaxing activities, like reading a book, meditating, or taking a bath. You should also pick a time to sleep and wake. The time should be consistent, even on weekends.
Finally, darkness is your friend. Turning out the lights tells your body it is time to release melatonin, the sleep hormone.
A lack of sleep can affect weight loss. It can also lead to poor decisions and performance. Improving your sleep is better for your health, and setting a schedule is a significant first step towards better rest.
Do you have any sleep tips or tricks? Comment below.