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Can Sleep Deprivation Cause Weight Gain

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Medical Conditions That Interfere With Sleep

Can Sleep Deprivation Cause Weight Gain?

What if I work the night shift?

  • Request to work the same shift several nights in a row, to avoid flipping between day and night shift schedules on consecutive days. This helps to regulate the circadian system.
  • Commit to a consistent sleep schedule, darkening the bedroom with blackout shades, and creating a quiet atmosphere as much as possible. You might reduce light exposure even earlier by wearing sunglasses as soon as you leave work. To reduce noise, wear earplugs and use a white noise machine to block sounds.
  • After finishing a night shift, try to return home and go to bed as soon as possible. Running errands, watching television, talking with family, or exercising can re-energize your body so that falling asleep becomes more difficult.
  • Although it is tempting to run errands and attend medical appointments during the day when places are less crowded, try to minimize doing them immediately after work so that you can return home and honor your sleep schedule.
  • Try to keep a set meal schedule. Do meal planning to ensure that quick easy meals are ready when you arrive home, and bring prepped meals/snacks to work for overnight shifts to prevent reliance on fast food and takeout meals. Try to avoid eating a large meal right before bed, which can increase the risk of reflux and indigestion.

The Role Of Ghrelin And Leptin

Certain hormones, such as ghrelin and leptin, play a key role in sleep and body weight as well. When a person does not sleep well, these hormones are affected, and overeating is more likely.

Ghrelin is sometimes referred to as the hunger hormone because it signals to the brain when the body is hungry and should eat. Meanwhile, leptin is the hormone that controls satiety and lets the brain know that the body is full and should stop eating. Other hormones that are impacted by sleeplessness include insulin, which helps the body turn food into energy, and cortisol, which allows fat reserves to be used to fuel the body. Since sleep deprivation causes changes in a persons hormones that relate to hunger and appetite, it is also possible for a person to experience unhealthy weight loss from sleepless nights as well as unwanted weight gain.3

If a serious medical condition, such as sleep apnea, is causing sleeplessness, it is recommended to first seek treatment for that condition.

Sleep Deprivation: An Underestimated Hair Loss Cause

Did you know that a lack of sleep causes inflammation and can also make you chronically ill? Research reveals that 65% of the population dont get enough sleep and suffer from sleep deficiencies. Lack of sleep has a negative impact on the body and increases your risk of being obese by 55%.

In turn, obesity increases your risk for type II diabetes by 50%, and it also doubles your risk of having a stroke or heart attack. Aside from all of these risks, not getting enough sleep leaves you to feel sluggish and terrible for the entire day.

The right amount of sleep increases your vitality. Studies indicate that adequate sleep could be even more important to health than diet. It energises you and enhances your performance, mentally and physically. When you have sufficient sleep, you reduce the risk of all the health issues mentioned above, and you protect yourself against this hair loss cause.

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Theres Lots Of Research Showing Links Between Sleep And Food Choices

Back in 2011, the NHS examined research and subsequent media coverage showing a link between poor sleep and weight. The American study investigated the relationship between sleep, stress and peoples attempts at weight loss. It also drew upon previous research showing a link between poor sleep and obesity. The NHS conclusion? While there were potential issues with the study, the results made sense: It seems intuitive that if someone is not sleeping well and is under stress, then sticking to a weight-loss programme will be more difficult, they said.

As the years have rolled on, further research has emerged, and it seems to show similar results.

If youre sleep-deprived, we know youre potentially more emotionally fragile, so youre more likely to make impulsive food choices, says clinical diabetologist Professor Eleanor Scott of the University of Leeds. A typical situation would be when people have small children who are awake in the night theyre going to crave carbohydrate-rich foods the next day. They give us an instant energy boost when were feeling tired and make us feel good. We know sugar makes us feel better, but its only a temporary fix. So, sleep deprivation alters our emotional choices.

What Can You Do To Stop Eating Unhealthy Food When Youre Overtired

How to get rid of sleep apnea headaches, sleep and weight ...

We are often keen to have a magic answer, but I would encourage stepping back and valuing and being kind to yourself, says British Dietetic Association spokesperson and dietitian, Aisling Pigott. Thats not to say she doesnt have tips that can help you during times of tiredness.

Try to regulate your meal pattern, as this supports energy levels and your ability to make healthy choices. Choose simple, easy-to-prepare meals with fruit or vegetables. Stay away from faddy or overly restrictive diets that can lead to over-eating, and sit down, relax and enjoy your meals with no computer, phone or laptop, she says.

And if youre after healthy, energy-boosting food, go for low-GI foods such as wholemeal carbohydrates, nuts and seeds and fruit and vegetables which will allow a slow release of energy without making you feel sluggish, says Pigott.

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Sleep And Weight: Can Too Little Sleep Cause Weight Gain

Are sleep and weight somehow connected?

Can too little sleep make weight loss more difficult?

Even worse, can insufficient sleep lead to fat and weight gain?

These are some of the questions we regularly receive from our readers and which well answer in this article.

Lets get right to it!

Poor Sleep May Hinder Weight Loss Study Shows

An unhealthy weight can affect a persons well-being in various ways. That is why many people make a conscious effort to lose excess body weight. But, it turns out that a hidden factor sleeping patterns could easily thwart these efforts.

According to data that the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases have cited, in the United States, more than one in three adults are overweight.

The same is true for obesity more than one in three U.S. adults live with this condition, which can predispose them to other health problems, including diabetes and heart disease.

An unhealthy weight, however, is not the only problem that threatens the well-being of people in the U.S. and elsewhere. Lack of good quality sleep also causes problems for people around the world.

Although adults need at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night to feel rested, many individuals are unable to achieve this ideal. Statistics show that in the U.S. alone, in 2017, as many as 36% of surveyed respondents did not feel rested upon waking up in the morning, which suggests that they were not getting enough or good enough sleep.

Insufficient sleep, recent studies argue, may affect circulation, aspects of memory, and even our social relationships.

The research comes from the Human Nutrition Unit of the Rovira i Virgili University in Tarragona, Spain, and other collaborating institutions.

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If Youre On A Diet Will You Lose More Weight If Youre Getting Eight Hours Sleep

Having spent years studying the relationship between exercise, weight management and health, UCLAs Dr. Christopher B. Cooper, together with a team at the university , carried out research that focused on weight, nutrition, exercise and sleep.

Over 12 weeks, two groups followed the same exercise and nutrition programme, but one also received a behavioural modification programme a major part of which was sleep training. By the end of the study, the group without the additional training had lost on average 1.3 kilograms of fat mass. The group who received the additional training had lost 2.3 kilograms.

Dr. Cooper explains: We were unable to demonstrate that wed improved sleep quality, but intriguingly we improved exercise performance, aerobic quality including oxygen uptake and body composition. We saw significant reductions in the percentage of body fat at the end of the exercise training programme that had incorporated sleep training.

However, says Dr. Cooper, there is still a lot of work to be done in the field. Common sense shows us there has to be a relationship between sleep, weight management, exercise and other aspects of behaviour. Lots of studies in our review articles clearly demonstrate associations, but its a much greater challenge to prove cause and effect. More studies are definitely required.

Poor Sleep Can Increase Your Appetite

Effects of Sleep Deprivation – Why Sleep Deprivation Causes Weight Gain and Diabetes

Many studies have found that people who are sleep-deprived report having an increased appetite .

This is likely caused by the impact of sleep on two important hunger hormones, ghrelin and leptin.

Ghrelin is a hormone released in the stomach that signals hunger in the brain. Levels are high before you eat, which is when the stomach is empty, and low after you eat .

Leptin is a hormone released from fat cells. It suppresses hunger and signals fullness in the brain .

When you do not get adequate sleep, the body makes more ghrelin and less leptin, leaving you hungry and increasing your appetite.

A study of over 1,000 people found that those who slept for short durations had 14.9% higher ghrelin levels and 15.5% lower leptin levels than those who got adequate sleep.

The short sleepers also had higher BMIs .

In addition, the hormone cortisol is higher when you do not get adequate sleep. Cortisol is a stress hormone that may also increase appetite .


Poor sleep can increase appetite, likely due to its effect on hormones that signal hunger and fullness.

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Vital Sign Changes In Sleep Deprivation Affect Blood Pressure

Research studies have demonstrated that sleep deprivation may cause subtle changes in your vital signs. Vital signs are important physiological markers that are often tracked as part of a general health assessment. These include:

  • Body temperature
  • Heart rate
  • Breathing rate

As an example, sleep deprivation may cause a small overall decrease in your body temperature. Changes in the other vital signs are relatively mild based on various studies. Seep-deprived people, when they do sleep, tend to have longer and more frequent pauses in their breathing called apnea.

Sleep Apnea Treatment And Weight Loss

One has to wonder if excess weight can cause sleep apnea and sleep apnea can cause excess weight, then can curing sleep apnea lead to weight loss and vice versa? Is there a relationship between weight loss after sleep apnea treatment?

Proper treatment for any sleep disorder will lead to a better life. If you manage your sleep apnea, you will find yourself with more energy during the day. This extra energy means you may find losing weight a little easier.

Even after just two days of CPAP treatment, a study found that ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates appetites, decreased. This means that individuals who treat their sleep apnea experienced a decreased appetite.

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Which Types Of Antidepressants Can Help With Sleep

Your doctor may prescribe one of the following antidepressants that can also help you sleep:

  • An SSRI such as citalopram , escitalopram , fluoxetine , paroxetine , and sertraline can be effective for treating depression but may take several weeks or longer to become effective. At the beginning, they may also cause or worsen insomnia, for which your doctor may prescribe a separate sleeping medication on a short-term basis. Other antidepressant medicines that affect serotonin through multiple serotonin receptors include vilazodone and vortioxetine .
  • Sedating antidepressants such as . The antidepressant trazodone is not widely used to treat depression but because it can cause drowsiness it is often paired as a sleep aid.

Does Sleep Increase Metabolism

Metabolism is a chemical process in which the body converts what we eat and drink into energy needed to survive. All of our collective activities, from breathing to exercising and everything in between, is part of metabolism. While activities like exercise can temporarily increase metabolism, sleep cannot. Metabolism actually slows about 15% during sleep, reaching its lowest level in the morning .

In fact, many studies have shown that sleep deprivation commonly leads to metabolic dysregulation. Poor sleep is associated with increased oxidative stress, glucose intolerance , and insulin resistance. Extra time spent awake may increase the opportunities to eat, and sleeping less may disrupt circadian rhythms, leading to weight gain.

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Causes Of Sleep Deprivation

In a nutshell, sleep deprivation is caused by consistent lack of sleep or reduced quality of sleep. Getting less than 7 hours of sleep on a regular basis can eventually lead to health consequences that affect your entire body. This may also be caused by an underlying sleep disorder.

Your body needs sleep, just as it needs air and food to function at its best. During sleep, your body heals itself and restores its chemical balance. Your brain forges new thought connections and helps memory retention.

Without enough sleep, your brain and body systems wont function normally. It can also dramatically lower your quality of life.

A found that sleeping too little at night increases the risk of early death.

Noticeable signs of sleep deprivation include:

Stimulants, such as caffeine, arent enough to override your bodys profound need for sleep. In fact, these can make sleep deprivation worse by making it harder to fall asleep at night.

This, in turn, may lead to a cycle of nighttime insomnia followed by daytime caffeine consumption to combat the tiredness caused by the lost hours of shut-eye.

Behind the scenes, chronic sleep deprivation can interfere with your bodys internal systems and cause more than just the initial signs and symptoms listed above.

Why Sleep Deprivation Causes Weight Gain

Photo: Pond5

Losing out on sleep creates a viscous cycle in your body, making you more prone to various factors contributing to weight gain.

The more sleep-deprived you are, the higher your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which increases your appetite, says Breus. And its not like youre going to be suddenly ravenous for kale salads, either. For me, it takes a bit of willpower to choose the salad over the sandwich, DePaolis says. When Im tired, I go for whatevers going to be easy and make me feel better in the moment.

Often, that means reaching for bad-for-you foods. When youre stressed, your body tries to produce serotonin to calm you down. The easiest way to do that is by eating high-fat, high-carb foods that produce a neurochemical reaction, Breus says.

A lack of sleep also hinders your bodys ability to process the sweet stuff. When youre sleep deprived, the mitochondria in your cells that digest fuel start to shut down. Sugar remains in your blood, and you end up with high blood sugar, says Breus. Losing out on sleep can make fat cells 30 percent less able to deal with insulin, according to a study in Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Can Lack Of Sleep Cause Weight Gain

When we think of the key factors controlling our weight, most of us probably think of diet and exercise. We all know that we have to try to eat healthily and that itâs important to take regular exercise if we want to keep our weight in check. But it might be interesting to learn that thereâs a third factor which is just as important and often overlooked: sleep.

Getting good quality sleep is equally as important as diet and exercise in regulating our weight.

Poor sleep can negatively impact all facets of our life but our weight is one area that we might not realise is being affected. Yet itâs well established that lack of sleep is a risk factor for weight gain and obesity1.

We all sleep badly from time to time and we can all relate to the feelings of fatigue that are part and parcel of a poor nightâs sleep. Because of this, good intentions can often go out of the window the following morning.

Do you ever wake up after a sleepless night and say to yourself:

  • âIâm tired, so I donât feel like exercising. Another day maybeâ¦â
  • âI was going to eat healthily today but Iâm so tired. I need coffee and biscuits to give me some energy.â
  • âThat list of things I wanted to get done today? It can wait. I need a sofa dayâ¦â
  • âI think Iâll treat myself to some nice comfort food to help me get through this tired old day.â

Do any of these sound familiar? Take any of the above statements and it becomes obvious how they could impact your weight over time.

Find Out How Lack Of Sleep And Depression Are Closely Associated

How Lack Of Sleep And Sleep Apnea Can Cause Weight Gain

Sleep is a necessary body function, whose importance is often overlooked or likened to laziness. While it is essential for the physical working of the body, its lack can take a toll on an individuals mental health. Read on to learn how less sleep can change the way you think and feel.

Sleep is a necessary body function, whose importance is often overlooked or likened to laziness. While it is essential for the physical working of the body, its lack can take a toll on an individuals mental health. Read on to learn how less sleep can change the way you think and feel.

Tossing and turning in bed, staring at the ceiling, counting imaginary sheep, eyes wide open you cant sleep, thats obvious. Tomorrow youll be all bleary eyed and yawning, this is what happens with less sleep at night for starters. While yawning and rubbing your eyes are physical effects of a sleepless night, you can start thinking morbidly. Why am I alive? Why is my life like this?, such thoughts flutter through your head. Its a lovely sunny day outside but for you, dark rain clouds persist. Feeling sad or depressed, with little or no self-esteem is actually normal after a night of disturbed or no sleep.

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