According to research a lack of sleep can lead to weight gain, with a recent study showing how this lack of sleep could potentially be linked to the obesity crisis we are currently faced with.
In a study of 11,000 people that was commissioned by The Sealy Sleep Census, it was shown that 75% of Australians struggle to either get to sleep or to stay asleep each night.
This study showed that 25% took over 30 minutes to get to sleep, with only one in four getting 8 hours of sleep each night.
How does a lack of sleep cause weight gain?
There are a few reasons why a lack of sleep could cause you to gain weight.
Of course if you are tired you will be more likely to reach for that energy-boosting snack, but the biggest reason is that a lack of sleep can affect your hormone production.
Too little sleep can affect the amount of leptin and ghrelin produced by your body.
Leptin tells your body it is full, while ghrelin tells you when you are hungry.
Unfortunately when you are not getting enough sleep your body will over-produce ghrelin, while not producing enough leptin, which will lead to your appetite sky-rocketing.
Also, the stress hormone cortisol is affected by a lack of sleep, leading to your body holding onto its fat reserves.
As well as a lack of sleep affecting your weight, it has also been shown to affect your overall health too.
Those who do not get the recommended amount of sleep (at least 7 hours per night) have a higher chance of developing the following health conditions:
- Heat disease
- The common cold
Possible reasons for sleep deprivation
While stress and other factors such as diet can play a part in your sleep habits, research has found that the likely reason for this sleep deprivation is our use of technology.
With 70% of us keeping our phones near our bed we are constantly bombarded with messages and updates.
Also, the blue light emitted by phones can send a signal to our brains that you should be awake, when the reality is that you need your sleep.
To improve your sleep try removing distractions like your phone, avoid stimulants like coffee before bed and finally try to relax before you go to bed too.