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A Lack of Sleep Can Add Inches to Your Waste

August 16, 2017


Not Getting Enough Sleep Can Make You Fat

We all know that lack of sleep is not conducive to being a highly functional and effective human. In fact, being sleep deprived often results in grouchiness, lack of cognitive functioning and a general state of lethargy, not to mention the big black bags and puffy eyes. But, not getting enough sleep has a much more significant impact on our general well being that just being a bit moody or over emotionally irrational. The effects of insufficient sleep run much deeper than our outward appearance or our ability to remember what we were supposed to be doing. Insufficient sleep can play havoc on our body’s ability to process food and to break it down. But before the food even hits our body, the food decisions we make are greatly affected by something as simple as being tired.

Being exhausted and unrested creates a vicious circle. You are tired so you need a pick me. More often than not, that pick me up is a carb loaded sugary treat, which will boost your energy temporarily, but then you crash. So, for lunch, you eat more than you should in the hopes that it will get you through the day. By the end of the day you are so utterly finished that you decide to give that run a skip, and instead of going home to cook a wholesome dinner, which you are way too tired to do, you grab a takeaway on the way home.

But, there is more at play than just your food choices when you don’t get enough sleep. Your body goes into a state of stress. It goes into survival mode and starts to slow down so that it can save energy for vital functions. What this means is that your metabolism slows down significantly so that the food you do eat takes longer to breaks down, and is not really processed properly by your body. Your body doesn’t break the sugary foods down properly so that they either remain in your blood stream, causing high blood sugar, or they get stored as fat.

Another result of not getting your full eight hours a night is that your body’s hormones are thrown totally out of whack. When your body is stressed it over produces a hormone called cortisol. Increased cortisol creates insulin resistance which causes high blood sugar which then leads to cravings of fatty sugary foods. Another major side effect of high cortisol levels is the storage of fat around the tummy.

Other hormones that are affected by a lack of sleep are ghrelin, which controls hunger, and leptin, which controls us feeling full and well fed. When we get enough sleep these are in balance and so our food intake is regulated and reasonable. But, when sleep deprivation kicks in ghrelin production goes into overdrive while leptin production takes a back seat and slows down, so we eat more and don't feel full.

While not getting enough sleep is often not the ONLY reason we pack on extra pounds, as you can see it is a major contributing factor. Many factors can influence your quality of sleep, including the mattress you sleep on. For expert advise on the best mattress for your personal needs, speak to one of our sleep experts today.


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