It sounds obvious; medicine and science have found that many adults are sleep deprived. That most people manage to only get a few hours of solid sleep a day, lack naps and are overdosing on stimulants such as caffeine in order to keep up with their days. This leaves people feeling exhausted, hungry, tired, and crabby. In addition, sleep deprived individuals make more decisions, look for quick energy sources like caffeine and sugar, and gain weight.
Yep, you read that right, your lack of sleep is what is making it harder for you to fit in those skinny jeans you love so much. There are quite a few reasons that sleep is such a major contributor to one’s weight loss goals and the fight against obesity. One is that those individuals who are sleep deprived suffer more stress due to the lack of sleep. This causes a jump in cortisol, and this jump then translates into more energy being stored as fat.
Another concern is the intake of sugars in order to obtain that quick energy many people need in order to stay awake. This increase in sugar is then stored by the body as fats. The carbohydrates that are burnt as fuel are burnt in stead of, not in addition to, the fats that the body already has stored as energy sources. While the sugar does provide the individual with that quick burst of energy, it also slows down the individual’s energy level after the burst wears off, requiring more sugar to keep going.
Sugar also has a lot of excess calories in it. These excess calories are not needed by the body and therefore they are stored. The body cannot just dump calories, and therefore the calories are transferred into fats, and those fats are then stored around the waist, in the legs and butt of the individual.
Sleep deprivation also limits the body’s ability to heal itself. Healing and repairing damaged tissues is vital to the health of the body. If this is not allowed to happen, one risks serious injury or even illness or death. Repairing the body takes a lot of work, and that uses up additional energy. This additional energy is not being supplemented by sugars and excess foods, so therefore the body uses fat reserves in order to complete the task.
If you are looking to lose weight or maintain the weight you have, without gaining any more, consider going to bed a little bit earlier, sleeping a little bit later. You just might wake up feeling refreshed, happy, full of energy and ready to tackle a new day. While you will still have to watch your diet and enjoy exercise, you just might find yourself losing weight by taking naps and enjoying a little extra sleep during the day.