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Can you gain weight from lack of sleep? Find out what the experts say
Written by SOT.COM.AL 23 Shtator 2022
Adequate and quality sleep is an important part of a healthy weight loss plan. More importantly, research has shown that sleep deprivation while dieting can reduce weight loss and encourage overeating.
A common hypothesis about the relationship between weight and sleep involves how sleep affects appetite. While we often think of appetite as just a matter of stomach growling, it's actually controlled by neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers that allow neurons (nerve cells) to communicate with each other. The neurotransmitters ghrelin and leptin are thought to be central to appetite.
Sleep and metabolic disorders
Metabolism is a chemical process in which the body converts what we eat and drink into the energy needed to survive. All of our collective activities, from breathing to exercise and everything in between, are part of metabolism. Activities such as exercise can temporarily increase metabolism, but sleep does not. Metabolism actually slows by about 15% during sleep, reaching its lowest level in the morning.
In fact, many studies have shown that sleep deprivation usually leads to metabolic dysregulation. Poor sleep is associated with increased oxidative stress, glucose (sugar) intolerance and insulin resistance. It can also increase opportunities to eat, and less sleep can disrupt circadian rhythms, leading to weight gain.
How is sleep related to physical activity?
Lack of sleep can result in less energy for exercise and physical activity. Feeling tired can also make sports and exercise less safe, especially activities such as lifting weights and/or those that require balance. While researchers are still working to understand this connection, it is known that exercise is essential for maintaining weight loss and overall health.
Regular exercise can improve sleep quality, especially if that exercise includes natural light. While even a short walk during the day can help improve sleep, more activity can have a more dramatic impact. Engaging in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week can improve daytime focus and reduce daytime sleepiness.