It’s no surprise that sleep is critical to your mental and physical well-being. Sleep isn’t just a time to let your brain relax, but it allows your body to regenerate.
During sleep, your muscles repair themselves, your white blood cells can reproduce, and even circulation improves given a consistent heartbeat and gravity working to its advantage. However, studies have shown that weight gain can be a dominating factor in sleep loss, as it pertains to sleep apnea.
There are many people who notice themselves gaining weight and actively seek ways to lose it. They may exercise, they may restrict greasy and fast foods from their diet, they may do everything you’re supposed to do and still gain weight.
This can be an extremely frustrating and humiliating experience, leading people to question, “What’s wrong with me?” While hormones and genes can also be a factor in weight gain, sleep is another contributing factor.
Our daily lives are filled with appointments and activities from the minute we wake up, to the minute we go to bed.
The first thing people tend to sacrifice is sleep. For many people, it’s hard enough to manage a job, relationships, children, or work/hobbies in their day-to-day life.
As a result, it’s time-costly just to work out for a few hours. Unfortunately, juggling all these activities around can lead to serious weight gain, making this especially unfortunate for people seeking to lose weight.
When the body does not get enough sleep, two hormones in particular are affected by severe shifts production: ghrelin and leptin.
Leptin has a habit of informing the body when its appetite has been sated; when you don’t want to eat anymore—Thanksgiving flashback. Ghrelin on the other hand balances the leptin hormone, informing the body when it needs to eat.
When the body hasn’t had enough sleep, leptin levels drop and ghrelin levels rise. Already this is sounding like a recipe for disaster.
Furthermore, when the body does not have sufficient time to sleep, all of its processes slow down. This not only affects muscle building, which is of course imperative when working out, but is also heavily critical when it comes to digestion and metabolism.
With these two functions slowing down, and appetites rising, the added intake of food is going to become fat. The body will be working so hard to stay awake and rejuvenate itself during the day, that burning fat and calories won’t come easily.
Several studies have proven that maintaining a healthy diet and consistent exercise will improve your physical condition, but this is only if you are getting enough sleep.
For instance, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine recently conducted a study over the course of 6 months. The study had half the participants engage in regular exercise, and the other half dedicated to a healthy diet.
The participants were able to record if they had any problems sleeping. The ones that did, did not lose as much weight as the participants who were on the exact same routine as their cohorts.
Bottom Line: If you want to lose weight, get better sleep!
Kim Bureros is the current Copywriter for SleepDisorders.com. She thoroughly enjoys writing, reading, kayaking, and volleyball. She also firmly believes that, “Building relationships is the key to success.”
Want to get rid of belly fat? You can tone and tighten in as little as 45 minutes at home.
“Fat” is not a personality trait.
I was pretty lucky growing up. I never got teased for being a chubby kid.
Even as an adult I never really “suffered” from my obesity like the horror stories you hear on TV or read about on Facebook, with kids being tortured on the playground and adults who are ashamed to come out of their houses or be in social situations.
I was never so awkward that I wouldn’t go to my prom or meet new people. I was just never all that bothered with my weight. Even in a size 22/24 I still managed to feel pretty good about myself most of the times.
I do realize how very lucky I am for that… my parents must have done a great job in that department! (thanks Mom and Dad!)
I’ve always had a bit of a mouth on me though so maybe that was why I was never a target for fat jokes or taunting. I’ve learned to filter over the years but I’m still not one to take too much bull from anybody without stepping in and setting the story straight rather quickly.
I realize not everybody has the same attitude (or the self esteem or whatever it is) to do that though and I am writing this post for some of those people who have just never had the balls to say anything.
Being fat is not part of my personality. I can lose weight, gain weight, have lipo, get implants, cut off limbs, grow a third arm and that still wouldn’t change me from the person I am now.
I will still be a witty (read: mouthy smartalek) character when I’m at my goal weight, just like I was when I was at my rock bottom weight.
Being overweight doesn’t mean I am lazy. I have worked my butt off at every job I’ve ever had. I’ve never had a problem keeping up with my thinner colleagues and in most situations I could work circles around them.
At one point in my life I was in between jobs when an uncle thought he should let me know that if I didn’t lose weight I would never be able to find a job because people just didn’t hire fat people. I, of course, got a job almost immediately and worked my way up the ladder within the company in a short period of time. When I left they were sorry to see my un-thin ass walk out the door.
So that blows that theory.
Regardless of my experiences in life there are certain “visions of sugar plumps that dance in your head” when people think of the an overweight person. Just to set the record straight and to leave you with a clearer picture of those jazz handed dancers, here is the scoop:
Being fat doesn’t mean that I’m jolly or jovial.
It doesn’t mean that I am mean or bitter.
It also doesn’t mean that I want to be thin or that I’m jealous of those who are.
It doesn’t mean that I’m depressed.
It doesn’t mean that I’m out of control.
It doesn’t mean I’m dirty.
It doesn’t make me ugly.
It doesn’t make me unqualified for the job.
It doesn’t mean I have no willpower.
It doesn’t make me stupid.
It doesn’t mean I’m sloppy.
It doesn’t mean I’m unlovable.
It doesn’t mean I’m unworthy.
It doesn’t mean I’m weak.
Being overweight doesn’t define me… it doesn’t define anyone. I hope we all can recognize that in our daily lives.
What do you have to say? Have you ever felt that being overweight defined you or someone you love? What do you think now? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section, below.