Gaining weight is often easier than losing weight. When a person thinks about weight loss, diet and exercise are the two main factors that come to mind. But sleep is the third main factor that needs to be focused on equally, but is often neglected. While thinking about losing weight one focuses on things that might be the reason for weight gain, but tends to forget the impact of sleep deprivation on weight gain.
What happens when one doesn’t sleep enough?
As told by Dr. Harihara Murthy, Consultant ENT surgeon at Apollo Spectra Hospital, Bangalore, here are some things that you would experience:
Cravings: It is seen that when a person is tired due to lack of sleep, they tend to crave more food. When a person is tired, the body produces a hunger-stimulating hormone called ghrelin, which results in craving high-fat and carbohydrate-rich foods.
Too Exhausted To Exercise: People who are sleep deprived tend to rarely hit the gym. Due to lack of sleep, the body feels very exhausted. Even sleeping for more than what is required can make a person feel very exhausted to work out or do any kind of physical activity. One needs to at least exercise for 10 minutes daily to keep the body healthy.
Side effects of being a night owl: When a person stays up late at night, tends to eat more and craves late-night snacks, which result in gaining weight. Due to lack of proper sleep, the metabolism slows down which doesn’t help in burning calories properly. It is always recommended to sleep properly for a minimum of six to eight hours for a healthy body.
Tips for better sleep
One needs to have a proper sleep schedule. Planning on what time to sleep and what time to wake up is a habit that one needs to inculcate. Having a sleep schedule helps in having a healthy lifestyle and this needs to be part of the daily routine of a person. Even staying up late or waking up late during the weekend can interrupt the sleep cycle of a person.
Keep a tab on what is consumed
One should neither go to bed with a stuffed stomach, nor sleep hungry. One needs to have at least a light meal a couple of hours before going to bed. Consumption of caffeine and alcohol at night should be avoided, as it can result in weight gain, and disrupt the sleep cycle.
Be physically active
One needs to be physically active and exercise regularly to lose weight and have a good night's sleep. Avoid naps during the day, or reduce nap time to under 30 minutes. Napping during the day impacts weight gain. Avoid exercising just before going to bed, as one cannot sleep just after exercising and that could result in weight gain.
Sleep is one of the three main factors that can aid in losing weight. It is always advised to get enough sleep, it helps in maintaining the health of a person. A healthy diet, 30 minutes of exercise, and a good amount of sleep can help a person in reducing weight. Avoid binge eating and if one feels that their sleep cycle is disturbed and is affecting their weight drastically, consult a doctor immediately.
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