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A Lack of Sleep Can Put on the Pounds!July 11, 2014
It might sound ridiculous, but failing to get enough sleep can actually cause you to gain weight! Recent studies have shown that people who are sleep deprived are more likely to put on up to a kilogram a week if they are getting less than six hours of sleep a night.
Sleep deficit is already a major problem facing countless people each year with up to one in three adults getting less than the required sleep every night. This lack of sleep has serious health issues and can lead not only to increase stress, blood pressure, but also increase the chances of heart problems and other serious issues. Now research is showing that in addition to these serious problems, weight gain is also associated with sleep problems.
The research has shown that people who are tired are not only more likely to eat unhealthy snacks more often, but their metabolisms actually show down causing them to burn fewer calories. In the study participants who were only getting five hours of sleep a night were found to have put on more than a kilogram in a week. The researchers have suggested that this weight gain is linked to the participants increased appetites for junk food. This increased desire for junk food means that they are consuming far more calories in the form of unhealthy carbohydrates, proteins and fibres. When the participants were shifted back to a normal sleep pattern the group's consumption of these unhealthy snacks decreased and they lost weight.
Other research has also indicated that a lack of sleep can also reduce your body's metabolism. Combined with an increase in junk food, this decline in metabolism means that less calories are burned leading to increased weight gain. While you burn more calories while you are awake, the increased snacking results in a net gain of calories. Working or staying up late at night can also lead to late night snacking - and more and more evidence is pointing to meals that are eaten late at night as a cause of weight gain. This is thought to be because this is against our internal physiology which is designed to eat and digest food during the day and not late at night.
Sleep however isn't a miracle cure for weight gain. Scientists involved in the study are however adamant that for a weight loss program to be effective people need to combine healthy diet, exercise and sufficient good sleep. The best way to get a good night's sleep is of course to get a really good and comfortable mattress that is best suited to your sleeping style.
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