Sleep and Weight are interlinked. Know why & how?

You may be doing everything to manage weight like the right diet, reduced calories, drinking water, and physical activity and still eternally waiting for the results to show. In that case, your culprit may be your sleep routine.

Sleep deprivation is one of the risk factors linked to obesity.  Sleep deprivation occurs when an individual’s biological sleep need is not met and is typically considered getting less than 7 hours of sleep. Numerous studies in the scientific literature suggest that sleep deprivation has metabolic effects that predispose to weight gain.  It is hypothesized that sleep impacts weight through a variety of biological and behavioural pathways. Appetite hormones (ghrelin and leptin) go out of balance; there is also a negative impact on energy and glucose metabolism, obesogenic behaviours (e.g., television watching, poor diet choices etc.), and you may be consuming more food than your body needs. Studies show that sleep restriction resulted in a 364 kcal increase in energy intake but no significant impact on energy expenditure. Ghrelin is a hunger hormone which increases appetite by sending signals to your brain, prompting you to eat. Leptin is a satiety hormone, that suppresses hunger and signals fullness to your brain. When you are sleep deprived, your body responds by making more ghrelin and less leptin, as a result, you tend to make unhealthy choices and overeat. Studies show that there were about 15 % higher ghrelin levels in people who slept less. Also, there were about 16% lower leptin levels in the group of people who slept less.

Sleep restriction may also lead to impaired executive functions, increased reward sensitivity, emotional stress, and impulsivity. All these changes could contribute to increased food cravings. Adequate sleep of at least 7 hours is essential for the physiological, psychological, and cognitive well-being of an individual. It is crucial to meditate, avoid caffeine and gadgets about an hour before bedtime, and stick to a routine bedtime even during weekends.

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