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How Does Lack Of Sleep Make You Fat?

Posted in Weight Loss 07 Jul, 2015

As grown adults we tend to miss out on sleep. There's so much to cram in and besides, all the good TV is on late at night. If your diet is not working, perhaps it's a lack of sleep creating those bingo wings.

Why It Makes You Fat

You Eat Sugary Food - We're all guilty of drinking extra coffee to perk us up. An extra three coffees a day with sugar or a Starbucks with cream, sugar and sweeteners will build up calories. A posh coffee can contain up to 400 calories, that's the equivalent of an extra meal.

You're Skipping Exercise- Sitting in front of your computer or production line, yawning and slumping over are just about all you can manage with little sleep. Exercise does not figure, you will laugh at the thought. A microwave meal in your PJs with Shameless re-runs for company appeals far more.

You Feel Drunk - Lack of sleep leads to bad choices, your brain will feel muggy and thick - literally as Thicke as Robin. The frontal lobe of your brain will not function properly. That's where decision-making and impulse control are situated, so you may eat more. Do this on a regular basis and even the most focused dieter will pile on the pounds.

How Does That Work, Then?

There are two hormones that work on the appetite. They are called leptin and ghrelin or 'the hunger hormones'. Leptin decreases the appetite and ghrelin increases it. It's leptin that tells you it's time to stop eating. When you don't get enough sleep leptin levels fall, and guess what? Ghrelin levels rise. Some experts estimate that losing one hour of sleep leads to an extra 200 calories a day, or more if you like Costa-Lot Coffee.

What You Can Do

It's a bit obvious but you need to set a regular sleep pattern. An occasional late night won't hurt, but regularly they cause you to put on weight. Set a bed-time and stick to it. If you have trouble falling asleep here are some tips to help you:

A warm bath relaxes your body. Make sure it's warm though, as too hot or cold will stimulate your senses.

Read something fluffy that takes your mind off any worries. Don't use your Ipad or phone as light stimulates your brain. An old fashioned paper book or magazine is best.

Make a list. I'm a fan of lists. Write down everything you need to do tomorrow and put it beside your bed. This prevents you waking up in a flash because you've remembered something important at 4.30am.

Aromatherapy may help. Lavender is a soothing scent that promotes sleep. You can buy this dried or fresh. Grow some if you can because then the scent is stronger.

Make your bed comfortable. Supportive pillows, clean sheets and a source of fresh air will help you drift off. Turn down the heating and minimise lights.

More sleep = less lard. Try to make sleep an important part of your day, rather than an afterthought you cram in.

If you want to find out more information and advice on effective weight loss methods, visit our weight loss page.

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