3 Reasons You’re Gaining Weight Due To A Lack Of Sleep

April 2017, Xtend-Life Expert

Summary

Did you know that a whole host of terrible conditions have been linked to sleep deprivation? The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has shown that chronic lack of sleep can lead to cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure, kidney problems and other undesirable effects.

When talking about sleep deprivation and weight gain, the first thing comes to my mind is the movie Wall-E, it plays out in a futuristic world where human beings have advanced technology to the point where they no longer have to walk/run to places. Instead, they just float around everywhere in a hover-chair.

Sounds amazing, right? Except, all the human beings in this movie have become morbidly obese due to the lack of physical activity and over-consumption.

Now you might be wondering what this has to do with the way the world is right now. But think about it for a second.

We are more sedentary than we’ve ever been before. Most of us live out our lives in air-conditioned offices, working at a desk for 8-10 hours before we head home in transportation that we’ve arranged through a phone app.

Our dietary habits have suffered as a result of food being easily available, and the hectic schedules most of us face at work ensure that we rarely ever get enough sleep. And that’s a big, big problem.

According to their most current estimate, the WHO (World Health Organization) estimates that there are almost 2 billion overweight people on the planet. 2 billion!

To make things worse, 600 million out of those are classified as obese, meaning their BMI is greater than 30. It’s official – today’s humans are fatter than any of our ancestors who walked the earth.

So, we’ve already talked about overeating being a cause of obesity. But what most of us are ignoring is that there’s a second, more subtle yet equally important reason that we’re getting fatter.

Sleep deprivation.

What does my sleep schedule have to do with me gaining weight?

Before we delve into the specifics, think about how most people fall asleep. They’re either reading texts on their phone, watching Netflix or browsing Facebook till they can’t stay awake anymore.

Did you know that a whole host of terrible conditions have been linked to sleep deprivation? The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has shown that chronic lack of sleep can lead to cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure, kidney problems and other undesirable effects.

Recent reviews of the scientific literature have shown that a lack of sleep is related to disorders affecting physical activity, body temperature, and appetite. This review also mentions that younger people are more likely to gain weight since they experience sleep deprivation more often.

So, let’s take a look at why lack of sleep is making us gain weight.

1. You’re awake more, so you have more time to eat.

This may seem like a completely obvious deduction, but it’s important to understand. If you’re awake for more than you usually are, you literally have more hours in the day to eat. Studies have shown that a lack of sleep combined with easy access to unhealthy foods is a recipe for being overweight.

And it makes sense, right? How often have you polished off an entire packet of chips while watching Game of Thrones at 2 AM?

2. Improper sleep habits interfere with the balance of hunger hormones.

Sleep deprivation literally causes havoc in your body’s hormonal system. Your body has a natural sleep/wake cycle, an internal body clock, which is called your circadian rhythm. When you disrupt this rhythm, the body increases the production of ghrelin – the hormone which tells your body that it’s hungry. To make things worse, sleep deprivation also causes a reduction in the production of leptin – the hormone which tells you that you’ve had enough to eat, and you can put away that bag of snacks.

It’s dangerous as it set’s us up on a path to becoming fat.

3. It makes you too tired to indulge in physical activities.

If you’re not sleeping enough, you don’t have enough energy. Because you don’t have enough energy, you avoid physical activity (like going to the gym) and are therefore going to burn fewer calories during the day.

A lack of sleep also interferes with the temperature regulation system in the body. If your body’s core temperature is disrupted, it taxes the energy systems and creates more fatigue.

So what should I do to fix this?

Knowing is half the battle. Now that you understand how sleep deprivation is affecting your health, it will make you more aware while making lifestyle choices.

However, knowledge needs to translate into real-world actions and behaviors if it is to be valuable. Here are our recommendations for combating sleep deprivation induced fat gain.

  • If you absolutely have to stay up late, remember what we discussed about the hormonal system. The next time you get hunger pangs at 3 AM, just pour yourself a glass of water instead.
  • If your shift/work schedule keeps changing, compensate wherever you can throughout the day with small naps.

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  • Include powerful sleep aid supplements in your diets, such as valerian, passion flower, and hops. These natural ingredients have been shown to bolster the body’s sleep and recovery mechanism. Our Neuro-Natural Sleep supplement has been crafted to include a whole variety of herbal extracts, amino acids and other natural ingredients that promote deeper more restful sleep.
  • Reduce the intake of stimulants like tea and coffee in the evening. They mess with your body’s sleep cycle.
  • Create a good sleep routine for yourself. Try not to look at bright screens or your phone right before going to sleep. Make sure there is as little light as possible in your bedroom. If you’re comfortable with using it, wear a sleep mask.

Why can't I just use a sleeping pill instead?

While sleeping pills might see like a good idea, they are a quick fix with undesirable side effects that you need to be aware of. Any powerful pharmaceutical pill or powder creates a whole host of different reactions within the body, not to mention that they are addictive. Sleeping pills have been linked to drowsy driving, erratic behavior and other serious health effects.

In summation, getting enough sleep is absolutely crucial for a healthy, productive life. If you’re working out, you need to ensure that you’re getting enough rest. Most people need 6-8 hours of undisturbed sleep to function at their best. Try to remember the last time you woke up feeling refreshed, energized and ready to take on the world.

That’s the kind of feeling we want you to have every day.

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