Sleep. As adults we love it, wondering why we didn’t appreciate naps as kids. It’s an important part of our normal body function as well. When you don’t get enough, you can gain weight. Sleep, a healthy diet and exercise together are the best way to maintain or lose weight. And while you may think you’re getting enough, it could be the quality of your rest that is the culprit.
Sleep deprivation affects your weight
Researchers all over the world have noticed that more and more people are chronically sleep-deprived. Fewer people are getting eight hours of regenerative, restorative sleep every night. Not only does that contribute to decreased functionality throughout your system, it could very well cause you to gain weight. When you have trouble getting to sleep, wake up multiple times at night or can’t stay asleep, you are prone to gaining a good amount of weight.
Plus, research has shown that lack of rest in men cause them to eat more than their daily diets, about 560 extra calories more a day. The same goes for children, with kids being at risk for obesity. For every additional hour of sleep, a child gets at night, that risk goes down about 9%.
Sleeping enough gives you the energy level to exercise
Why does sleep-deprivation affect your weight? People who don’t get enough sleep at night tend to have less energy during the day. They have less motivation to move from sedentary jobs; and they don’t want to exercise because they are too tired. What is interesting to note is that exercise can help you get energized and sleeping better.
Lack of energy makes you reach for the comfort food
The amount of sleep you do or do not get affects appetite-controlling hormones. When these hormones get out of whack, you tend to crave high-carbohydrate, calorie-heavy foods – comfort foods. These foods may give you a burst of energy, but they also give you extra weight gain when you eat too much. That burst of energy only lasts for so long, making you reach for the comfort foods yet again.
While more research is being conducted, it seems that your sleeping habits are related to how much you weigh. There is no definitive proof that the right amount of rest can help you lose weight; but if you get enough, you have the energy levels to exercise and not reach for the comfort food that contributes to weight gain. Until the researchers tell us for sure, add “sleeping enough” to your list of healthy habits. Your body will thank you!