Sleep, can it really help you lose weight? In order to understand the effects of sleep, lets start by quickly looking at what happens during sleep. Melatonin, a sleep inducing chemical, rises and blood levels of adrenaline and other stimulants go down. Your body temperature drops, your heart rate declines, and your blood pressure goes down. Your muscles become super relaxed and metabolism rates slow down drastically Protein supply in the blood stream increases facilitating enthusiastic tissue maintenance and repair activities that happen faster than any time when you
are awake. But what happens when you do not get enough
sleep? You would be too drained out during the day and perhaps will skip exercise your brain will be slower and you will be more likely to make bad decisions especially related to your health You will experience more cravings throughout the day for high carb snacks and junk food As a matter of fact, there is a lot of scientific evidence that confirm the relationship between less sleep and weight gain Many studies have positively correlated overweight adults and children with bad sleeping habits. Some studies have observed in sleep deprived subjects a steep decline in the levels of the hormone leptin. At low levels, Leptin triggers strong cravings for carbohydrate consumption. Other studies have observed that sleep deprivation interferes with the ability to process carbohydrates, which leads to high levels of blood sugar. When blood sugar is high insulin is overproduced, directly leading to the excess storage of body fat and weight gain. But it seems that perhaps the most contributing reason to why less sleep affects weight gain may lie in cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone, that urges you to feel hungry at meal times. Its level is precisely controlled by your 24-hour biological clock that suppresses its release at night and boosts it in the morning. Abnormal sleeping patterns mess up your biological clock. It eventually gets distorted and loses rhythm. As a result the cortisol level flattens out to a constant becoming too low during the usual meal times, and too high for the rest of the 24hour cycle. Your appetite in turn becomes fuzzy, constantly prompting you to eat at unusual times, usually unhealthy drinks and snacks. This leads to higher levels of body fat storage. Unfortunately, many people give sleep a low importance in their life prioritizing their busy schedules and lifestyles. However, Science is confirming that sleep is as equally essential to your health, weight and body shape as are diet and exercise. So if you want to lose weight, start by sleeping well, according to science.