Could your lack of sleep affect your weight loss? Well it turn out that it can. Recent studies suggest that lack of sleep is contributing to the obesity epidemic. Researches claim that some factors that contribute to obesity and have been give less attention in compare to the traditional “eat less” and “move more”, may at least partly explain why weight-loss efforts fail so often.
More than 28 percent of adults in the U.S. report that they get less than six hours of sleep a night, with this cumulative deprivation becoming more common in the past three decades. And now that more than 35 percent of U.S. adults are currently obese, researchers have been searching for potential links between the two conditions, in hopes of reducing the increasing health and economic burden of obesity. As it comes down to it, studies suggest that people who suffer from chronic sleep loss, can in fact develop health problems such as weight gain, high blood pressure, and a decrease in the immune system’s power.
The Harvard Women’s Health Watch suggests six reasons to get enough sleep:
- Learning and memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In studies, people who’d slept after learning a task did better on tests later.
- Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.
- Safety: Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. These lapses may cause falls and mistakes such as medical errors, air traffic mishaps, and road accidents.
- Mood: Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you like to do.
- Cardiovascular health: Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat.
- Disease: Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer.
A hectic lifestyle may cause many people to sleep fewer hours than they should. Combined with the increasing prevalence of medical disorders that interfere with sleep, we’re faced with a new public health crisis in sleep insufficiency. Many different factors affect body weight including predisposition to handling stress, depression and genetic individuality. Adequate and sound sleep can improve or eliminate each of these risk factors, and can also regulate the hormones leptin and ghrelin to lower food cravings and naturally promote a normal weight range. Continuing research studies validate the critical importance of a sound night’s sleep of between seven and eight hours each night to protect against chronic disease and to aid weight management efforts.