8th May 2016
Life will always be to a large extent what we ourselves make it. Samuel Smiles
Have you noticed when it comes to losing weight successfully, the response is usually "eat less and move more". It's really not that simple though is it! Nor is it that accurate as there is so much more to the equation than simply eating less and moving more. Even when you want to eat less and move more, it seems impossible to do so, there could be a good reason for that you know, yep, you're busy living your life, getting all that work done, looking after the family, fitting in some exercising but are you remembering to get enough sleep?
Sleep is essential to a healthy life, you can't function properly without it, and lack of it can reduce the benefits of dieting, research has even shown that when the body receives adequate rest, more of the weight lost is likely to be from fat. Not forgetting if you're tired you're less satisfied after meals and lack the energy to exercise. Those on a sleep-deprived diet experienced a 55% reduction in fat loss compared to their well-rested counterparts.
Which is why I've made sure I've had me two very early nights the last two nights because I realised I was tired and that tiredness was affecting me! Yep and it turns out it was just me it was affecting by my fat cells too - who knew? Yeah if you have a few bad night's sleep and wake up tired, confused, maybe a little grumpy, you're body is sleep deprived and it suffers from metabolic grogginess! We all know you cope, coffee gives you that buzz to get going but the hormones that control your fat cells don't feel the same way.
Apparently within just four days of sleep deprivation, your body's ability to properly use insulin becomes completely disrupted. Researches foudn that insulin sensitivity dropped by more than 30%. And that's bad because, when your insulin is functioning well, fat cells remove fatty acids and lipids from your blood stream and prevent storage. When you become more insulin resistant, fats (lipids) circulate in your body and pump out more insulin. Eventually this excess insulin ends up storing fat in all the wrong places, such as tissues like your liver. And this is exactly how you become fat and suffer from diseases like diabetes.
Hunger is control by two hormones (leptin & ghrelin) as I said in my blog the other day not willpower! And sleep deprivation apparently makes it nearly impossible to control these two hormones. And if that wasn't enough, when you don't sleep enough, your cortisol level rises, this is the stress hormone that is frequently associated with fat gain! Cortisol also activates reward centres in your brain that make you want food. At the same time, the loss of sleep causes your body to produce more ghrelin. A combination of high ghrelin and cortisol shut down the areas of your brain that leave you feeling satisfied after a meal, meaning you feel hungry all the time—even if you just ate a big meal. WHAT CHANCE HAVE YOU GOT - your WILLPOWER won't help you now!
Because guess what, lack of sleep also pushes you towards the foods you are trying to resist, cakes, chocolate etc, yep according to another study even one night of sleep deprivation was enough to impair activity in your frontal lobe, which controls complex decision-making. Yep, being sleep deprived is a little like being drunk, you don't have the mental clarity to make good complex decisions, especially regarding the foods you eat or want to avoid. And to finish you off his when you’re overtired, you also have increased activity in the amygdala, the reward region of your brain, you're now being mind controlled to seek high calorie food! Maybe you've been doing really good at resisting up to now, but because you're sleep deprived your insular cortex (another bit of your brain - there's a lot going on in there you know!) is weakened due to sleep deprivation, so you'll have trouble resisting that urge and you're likely to indulge in all the wrong foods and larger portions of it too.
In a nutshell, not getting enough sleep means you're always hungry, reaching for bigger portions and craving for all the stuff you know isn't healthy and won't help you lose weight because you don't have the brain functioning properly to say NO!
Yep, sleep is one of the most important things in my life, if I don't get enough, I don't function, I get up at 4.30am most mornings so I have to ensure I got to bed early enough to make sure I get those hours I need. Are you getting enough BeYOUtiful ;)
Enjoy your day. xx