According to Dr Kenneth Goodrick at Baylor University, a good night’s sleep is a vital ingredient to lose weight.
He believes that lack of sleep robs people of the energy they need to exercise and sets up a vicious low-energy cycle that sabotages your weight loss programme. Often when energy reserves are low, people turn to high-fat and high-sugar laden foods or caffeinated drinks for energy pick-me-ups…all of which interfere with weight loss efforts. Some may drink 10 to 15 caffeinated beverages a day, which has a adverse effect on sleep quality. It’s a double whammy.
This is not the only fascinating connection between sleep and weight gain. Researchers have found there are two hormones involved. Leptin, a hormone that suppresses appetite, and grehlin, which increases food intake and is thought to play a role in long-term regulation of body weight. Sleep deprivation lowers the levels of leptin and raises levels of grehlin. This is thought to be the reason why obese people suffering with sleep apnea often put on weight faster than others.
Goodrick says, “Sleep is a time for the brain, the body, and all the hormones to get regulated and restore themselves to the baseline values for the next day. If you have caffeine, or inadequate sleep, you don’t have a chance for all of those restorative processes finish”.
What is a good night’s sleep? Participants in a US study who got less than 4 hours of sleep each night were 73 percent more likely to be obese than those who sleep between 7 and 9 hours a night, the recommended amount. Those who slept only 5 hours each night were 50 percent more likely to be overweight, and those who slept 6 hours a night were 23 percent more likely to be overweight.
It’s official, for good health we all need to wake up and get a good night’s sleep.