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3 Ways Sleep Keeps You Skinny

Posted by Administrator on 3/28/2015


Sleep deprivation causes an imbalance of the hormones that control metabolism and hunger (Leptin, Ghrelin, Cortisol).  Leptin is produced in your fat cells; it suppresses hunger and lets your brain know when your stomach is full. Ghrelin is produced in your stomach cells; its job is to stimulate your appetite, slow your metabolism, and decrease your bodyís ability to burn fat.  Higher levels of cortisol lead to a lower metabolism. Breaking protein down into glucose is stimulated by cortisol. If you have too much glucose in your body, it will get stored as fat.

Lack of sleep causes us to be more hungry, less likely to exercise, and more likely to reach for foods high in sugar and carbohydrate to keep us going throughout the day.

With less sleep, your body produces lower levels of appetite-suppressing leptin and higher levels of appetite-boosting ghrelin. This means youíll not only be tired from lack of sleep, youíll also be hungry and you wonít feel satisfied even after you eat, which can set the stage for long-term overeating and weight gain.  If youíre sleep-deprived and feeling exhausted, youíre less likely to have the willpower necessary to stave off cravings for sugary and starchy carbohydrates and other unhealthy foods.

Less Sleep = More Calories
  • Changes in your glucose metabolism brought on by sleep deprivation will cause your body to hoard the calories you consume, storing them as fat rather than burning them for energy.
  • Lack of sleep causes your body to produce more of the stress-hormone cortisol, which in turn spikes your appetite.  
  • When you donít get enough sleep it hinders your bodyís ability to metabolize food properly.
We know that the body burns more calories in REM sleep than at any other stage of sleep. We experience longer periods of REM sleep as we move deeper into our sleep cycle over the course of a night. An abbreviated night of sleep cheats your body of the REM sleep that is prime calorie-burning time. Research also has shown that people who sleep less and still manage to lose weight will lose less actual fat.

During sleep, your pituitary gland secretes more growth hormones than during your waking hours. Growth hormones stimulate cell regeneration, reproduction and growth. These hormones are also known to aid you in building muscles. This is why higher levels of growth hormones means a heightened metabolism. With a higher metabolism, you burn energy much faster which leads to easier weight loss.

Tips to Break the Cycle
  • Aim for a minimum 8 hours sleep every night.
  • Turn off computers, cell phones and other electronic devices 1 hour before sleep.
  • Refrain from caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods before bed, and donít eat a big meal right before going to sleep.
  • Make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet at night. Consider investing in heavy blackout curtains or a white-noise machine.
  • Stick to a schedule of going to sleep and waking up at about the same time every day.


Having trouble sleeping?  Try a natural remedy.



 
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