If you have long been guilty of scrimping on sleep, it looks like you have no more room for compromise. Research shows that not getting enough sleep leaves you highly susceptible to metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance, diabetes, and other sleep-related problems. Apparently, not getting enough sleep for a few nights in a row (by even just an hour or two) can lead to nearly instant weight gain. Read on to find out why.
Sleep and Diet: Their Correlation
Michael Breus, the clinical director of the Sleep Division for Arrowhead Health in Glendale, AZ, asserts that it is not that when a person sleeps that he or she loses weight, but if he or she lacks sleep, then his or her metabolism doesn’t function properly. He further demonstrates that an average person requires about 7.5 hours of quality sleep every night. If you are already sleeping this much every night, another half hour will not help you lose 0.3 st. However, if you are a five-hour sleeper, and then you start to sleep for 7 hours a night, you will start dropping a few stones.
According to Breus, the sleep-diet correlation has something to do with a person’s nightly hormones, ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin is one that gives you the hunger pangs when you are sleep deprived. Leptin, on the other hand, is the hormone that tells you that you are full. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body tends to produce less leptin, hence the weight gain.
Insufficient Sleep Causes the Growth of Visceral Fats
As it has been said, “sleep is important not only for surviving, but also for thriving.” Researchers at the Wake Forest School of Medicine can’t agree more with this. They noted that poor sleep hygiene is one of the culprits in the buildup of unhealthy fat deposits in the body’s midsection and around vital organs– the visceral fats.
The study shed a brighter light on the unmistakable association between the increase in visceral fat and sleep deprivation for people under the age of 40. Further, researchers noticed an increased prevalence among Hispanic men and black women. The same study discovered that having more than eight hours of sleep is just as highly detrimental to human health as having only fewer than five hours of sleep. Both can cause an increase in visceral fat. However, the same findings were not observed in subjects over age 40.