Sleep is a great blessing to correct all the body problems and maintaining the biologic systems within a healthy range. But lack of sleep does the opposite and wreaks havoc within the body. When it comes to weight loss, sleep plays a very crucial role.
Lack of sleep results in increased body weight and higher levels of cholesterol in the body, resulting from several different reasons. Since sleep deprivation increases body weight, it can affect your overall weight loss efforts. Along with the consumption of low-calorie foods and regular exercise, a proper sleep schedule is vital to ensure that your efforts do not go to waste.
How sleep lack affects the efforts to lose weight?
Sleep affects us in two different ways: behavioral and psychological.
Some key processes that maintain a healthy weight or decrease body weight, such as hunger, metabolic rate, energy levels and mood are affected negatively by sleep deprivation.
The following are some ways through which lack of sleep tampers with your weight loss efforts:
Lack of energy: Sleep has the ability to refresh the body completely by increasing its energy levels and replenishing the exhausted fuels of the body, in the form of hormones, growth factors and other systemic effects. A person who is deprived of sleep, does not only wake up tired and crabby due to low energy, but also fails to burn the right amount of calories that he or she is working to get rid of.
Sleep disorders: Lack of sleep itself leads to many sleep disorders, while affecting your body weight chronically. The deep sleep stage of your sleep cycle is essential as it is involved in getting rid of weariness and also restoring the body as much as possible. If sleep deprivation occurs for long periods, say for more than one day, you may have difficulty in attaining deep sleep, thus resulting in failure to fully benefit from your weight loss efforts.
Hormonal disorders: Sleep has the primary role in determining the cycles and rates of hormonal secretions. Lack of sleep can alter these functions in your body, thus affecting the daily roles you have to play, such as working productively, feeling fresh and energetic, feeling happy etc. The cortisol hormone that is released in response to stress, increases your cravings for food, which is not something a person may want if he or she is on a strict weight loss regime.
Metabolic problems: The metabolic processes in your body are not capable to work efficiently if you are having problems with your sleep. This is because certain substrates and enzymes that are essential for metabolism are effectively inhibited when a person does not sleep well or sleepless. For example, lack of sleep affects the metabolism of carbohydrates you consume from your food, thus resulting in high peaks in your blood glucose levels. This can also cause a rise in fat being stored in the body.
Ultimately, such a situation can predispose to fatal diseases like diabetes, CVS problems due to insulin resistance and increased fat storage. ( Source: http://www.doctortipster.com/14888-lack-of-sleep-is-linked-to-diabetes.html )
How you can improve your sleep
The following ways may help you sleep better and enhance your weight loss efforts.
1. Stick to a sleep schedule
Make sure you sleep on time and at the same time every night. Even if it is on the weekends and holidays, stick to your schedule.
2. Watch what you eat
Make sure you aren't starving but aren't too stuffed either. The discomfort caused by both cases may keep you up at night. Limit what you drink before bedtime to prevent disruptive trips to the bathroom. Avoid nicotine, alcohol and caffeine before sleeping.
3. Create a nighttime ritual
Do the same things every night so that your body knows it's time to rest. Some examples include, taking a warm bath, listening to soothing music or reading a book.
4. Get comfy
Create a comfortable environment so it is suitable for sleeping. Usually this means keeping the room cool, quiet and dark.
Keeping the above discussion in view; it is clear that sleep is one of the main methods to reduce weight and if this component is deficient, all efforts will go unrewarded.