The Sleep-Weight Gain Connection You Need To Know About


Likewise, a study published in the International Journal of Obesity monitoring the sleep habits and weight of 125 adults over the course of a year found that the more quality sleep you clock in every night, the healthier your weight and body fat percentage will be overall.

It all comes down to your circadian rhythm and how a poor sleep cycle can directly affect your hunger hormones. According to sleep psychologist and advisor to Pluto Pillow, Samina Ahmed Jauregui, PsyD your circadian rhythm not only determines your sleep-wake cycle, but also regulates other biological functions, such as your body temperature, energy levels, and mealtimes.

“One of the many functions of sleep includes the regulations of hormones including [those] associated with hunger, appetite suppression, and food choices, ”Jauregui tells mbg. Namely, leptin, which tells the body its full, and ghrelin, which stimulates appetite. Not getting enough quality shut-eye throws these hunger hormones out of whack.

“[When we aren’t sleeping well or enough]we end up with less leptin and more ghrelin, ”says sleep expert Michael J. Breus, Ph.D. and it’s an unfortunate combination for anyone looking to reach their body’s healthiest weight. This is because suboptimal sleep quality can either upregulate appetite or increase it, potentially diminishing a person’s willpower, leading them to eat more, Brief tells mbg. Poor sleep quality will also negatively impact a person’s energy levels in such a way that, according to Breus, they’ll be less likely to engage in physical activity, leading to unwanted weight gain.

Getting enough quality sleep will have an opposite effect; you’ll have more energy and a healthy appetite, with clearer hunger cues that will allow you to eat more intuitively. Clocking in shut-eye quality will also play a role in the types of foods you crave throughout the day, as a lack of sleep translates to a lack of energy. The better rested you feel, the less inclined you are to seek out meals and snacks high in sugar and unhealthy fats.

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