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SIX WAYS SLEEP DEPRIVATION CAN LEAD TO WEIGHT GAIN

Most people know they should cut calories and exercise more to trim down, but there’s now significant scientific evidence that another critical component to maintaining your natural normal weight  is avoiding sleep deprivation, sleep scientists say.

“There is no doubt that insufficient sleep promotes hunger and appetite, which can cause excessive food intake resulting in weight gain,” says Eve Van Cauter, director of the Sleep, Metabolism and Health . She has spent 15 years studying the topic.

Here are six specific ways sleep deprivation is linked to weight gain.

  1. When you are running on low energy, you automatically go for a bag of potato chips or other comfort foods.
  2. Ghrelin is the hormone that tells you when to eat, and when you are sleep-deprived, you have more ghrelin.
  3. Leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating, and when you are sleep deprived, you have less leptin.
  4. The more sleep-deprived you are, the higher your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which increases your appetite.
  5. When you’re sleep deprived, the mitochondria in your cells that digest fuel start to shut down.
  6. Your body goes into survival mode. Sleeplessness can fool your body into thinking you’re in danger. Your metabolism slows because your body is trying to maintain its resources, and it also wants more fuel.

Top Ten Reasons Why Stress is Fattening

Effects of Stress

Let’s define stress first. Most people only think of psychological stress when they hear the term “stress”. Things like family or job issues, or traffic or money worries. Yes, these can certainly be stressful. There are also less obvious stressors and what I call “hidden” stressors that have the same physiological effect on the body.

Here are my TOP TEN HIDDEN STRESSORS that can affect our weight

  1. Sleep deprivation
  2. Digestive issues
  3. Nutrient depletion
  4. Chronic pain
  5. Environmental Toxins
  6. Dieting
  7. Over-exercise
  8. Hormonal imbalance
  9. Chronic infection

Chronic stress affects disrupts the daily cortisol rhythm. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is responsible for a wide range of processes within the body including immune responses, the regulation of metabolism, and acting as an anti-inflammatory. It also plays an important role in the way in which the body responds to stress.

Cortisol levels are generally high in the morning as we wake from a prolonged period of sleep, with an increase of up to fifty percent in the twenty to thirty minutes after waking. This is known as the ‘cortisol awakening response’. Then, as the day progresses, our cortisol levels naturally begin to drop in a fairly constant and regular fashion that is termed a diurnal rhythm, ending up as low in the late evening. This allows the body to keep a regular sleeping pattern, with the cortisol level dropping for periods of sleep, then replenishing during the following morning.

When cortisol is out of balance, the body thinks it is being attacked and will conserve energy as much as possible. So stress has the following effects on the body which all contribute to weight gain.

  1. increased blood sugar
  2. increased storage of fat
  3. increased hunger
  4. increased belly fat to store as energy
  5. increased fatty acids and triglycerides in your blood
  6. increased cravings for quick energy foods (sugar)
  7. decreased immune function
  8. decreased fat burning (to conserve energy)
  9. decreased cell sensitivity to insulin so sugar stays in your blood stream
  10. decreased digestive function

So now you know why stress is fattening!

Lose Weight by Sleeping

 Sleep is an essential aspect of healing and repair and that healing takes seven to eight hours.

The vital key to the link between good sleep and weight is understanding  hormones, especially the hormone cortisol. You have major sleep disturbance when your cortisol is high. Cortisol is your stress hormone. It gives you an overactive brain and you feel pumped up all over.

As women age, estrogen and progesterone decrease and as these hormones decrease, cortisol rises. When cortisol rises, insulin rises and insulin is a fat storing hormone.

A vicious cycle is set up because as cortisol rises and you have trouble sleeping, it raises cortisol even more because inability to sleep raises cortisol.

Inability to sleep also diminishes your thyroid, which is a fat burning hormone.

So, is it any wonder so many people have trouble losing weight?