Scientists are still figuring out sleep and why it is necessary for survival. What experts do know about sleep is, without getting enough of it regularly, the body and mind will suffer.
The lack of sleep has been linked to increased risk of various health conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, weakened immune system, and anxiety and depression.
Sleep and Obesity
People who do not regularly recommend at least seven hours of shuteye are also at a higher risk of obesity and its complications.
There is a persistent belief that weight is solely controlled by a person’s physical activity and nutrition levels. As long as you exercise regularly and eat a balanced diet, you can maintain a healthy weight. However, in reality, different factors influence weight. Genetics, stress, community environment, undiagnosed illness, and inadequate sleep can lead to weight loss or weight gain.
Among children, sleep loss has increased the risk of becoming overweight and obese. Sleeplessness leads to daytime fatigue which further causes decreased levels of physical activity.
Moreover, going to bed later every night is associated with worse diet quality. Those who sleep earlier tend to eat more fruits and vegetables.
Sleeping Less, Eating More
One common hypothesis that attempts to explain the link between the lack of sleep and weight gain involves appetite.
It is not uncommon for people to eat more whenever they stay up throughout the night to study, work, or binge on television shows, movies, or books. As long as you are awake, your body will require energy which you only get from food.
But some experts believe that sleeplessness affects the regulation of neurotransmitters responsible for hunger and satiation. In one study, researchers discovered that men who only had 4 hours of sleep had an increased level of ghrelin and decreased leptin level compared to those who slept for 10 hours.
Ghrelin is the neurotransmitter that promotes hunger. On the other hand, leptin is the neurotransmitter that makes you feel full after a meal.
Sleep Influence on Metabolism
Sleep can also affect your metabolism.
The rate at which food and beverages are metabolized inside the body varies from person to person. Exercise has the capacity to temporarily increase metabolism because of the heightened need of the body for energy. Other factors such as age, gender, body size, muscle mass, illness, and genetics can also dictate a person’s metabolic rate.
There is no evidence that adequate sleep can speed up metabolism and aid in weight loss. However, the lack of sleep harms metabolism. Those who are sleep deprived due to insomnia, sleep apnea, and other sleep disorders are at risk of metabolic dysregulation.
Metabolic dysregulation is described as any alteration in the body’s utilization of glucose and storage, sensitivity to insulin, and absorption of lipids.
Researchers recently investigated the impact of sleeplessness on metabolism. They recruited 15 healthy men in their 20s to sleep for only five hours for five nights straight. The participants were then fed with high-fat dinner (chili mac). Next, blood samples were extracted and analyzed in the lab.
The researchers found that the postprandial lipid response was changed. The lipids were not evaporating but stored by the body after the meal. This leads to weight gain.
Before the end of the study, the participants were given a chance to sleep for more than 10 hours. Again, they were fed a high-fat meal. Although the metabolic handling of the participants improved after a night of adequate sleep, it did not return to healthy levels.
Sleeping for Weight Loss
Unfortunately, after nights of sleep deprivation, your body is unlikely to return immediately to normal. You have to work harder to restore normal body processes.
People trying to lose weight can boost their metabolism, burn more fat, curb appetite, and build more muscles by getting intravenous (IV) hydration and wellness drips. This minimally invasive treatment gives your body the nutrition it needs to recover from the damage of sleeplessness to the metabolism.
More importantly, add getting enough quality sleep to your weight loss routine every night. Maintain a regular sleep schedule, including during the weekends, so you can easily drift off to dreamland every night and wake up feeling refreshed the morning after. It would also help sleep in a dark room, go to bed earlier, and rise early to lose weight.
Sleep is very important to health. Without adequate sleep every night, the body and mind suffer. Moreover, its long-term effects can lead to an increased risk of illnesses.