You probably already know that diet and exercise are important factors in maintaining a healthy weight and that neglecting either can lead to weight gain, which in turn can cause weight-related illnesses.
But, what you might not be considering, is the important role that sleep plays in the weight loss equation.
There seems to be more attention given to how sleep is important for mental health – to give the mind a rest and clear the head of the busy thoughts of the day.
But, poor can sleep can affect the whole body in many negative ways, by slowing metabolism, making it hard to have energy to stay active and by raising the stress hormone, cortisol, in the body.
Read on to learn how exactly sleep affects weight loss and how bad sleep habits might be getting in the way of your body’s best health:
1 Poor Sleep Leads To Obesity
It’s one thing if you aren’t sleeping properly and you find you are gaining a few pounds,but studies are showing that decreased sleep duration is actually contributing to obesity, in adults and obesity is on the rise. In fact, the worldwide prevalence of obesity has doubled, since 1980.
Scientists credit this sudden increase to our change in working hours over the past 50 years and our exposure to artificial light after sunset and before sunrise, which confuses our circadian rhythm – the natural, internal process that tells us when to wake up and go to sleep.
An important piece of cross-sectional research from 2008, which pooled together 696 studies and over 634,000 people, showed that there is a consistent, increased risk of obesity among short sleepers in children and adults.
If you aren’t getting enough sleep each night, it could be not only making you gain weight, but pushing you into the obese range of BMI (Body Mass Index), which can cause bigger health problems.