Lack of sleep and weight gain are much more close­ly relat­ed than you might think at first glance. Often, lack of sleep leads not only to cir­cles under the eyes and bad mood, but also to extra pounds that will be dif­fi­cult to cope with.

Healthy sleep is very impor­tant for the nor­mal func­tion­ing of the body. The amount of rest affects many fac­tors, includ­ing weight loss. There­fore, it is nec­es­sary to observe a sleep-wake sched­ule, espe­cial­ly for those who intend to get rid of extra pounds.
Don’t self-med­icate! In our arti­cles, we col­lect the lat­est sci­en­tif­ic evi­dence and opin­ions from respect­ed health experts. But remem­ber: only a doc­tor can make a diag­no­sis and pre­scribe treat­ment.

Oksana Ven­grzhi­novskaya, a nutri­tion­ist, som­nol­o­gist, and endocri­nol­o­gist at the Nation­al Med­ical Research Cen­ter for Endocrinol­o­gy, spoke in more detail about how lack of sleep affects weight gain.

Lack of energy

Accord­ing to the spe­cial­ist, insuf­fi­cient sleep sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduces ener­gy lev­els, and chron­ic fatigue can grad­u­al­ly accu­mu­late. The fastest way to cheer up is fast car­bo­hy­drates. There­fore, sleep-deprived peo­ple often crave sweets, which caus­es them to overeat and gain weight.

Why is it harmful to get enough sleep?

Many peo­ple believe that they can com­pen­sate for lack of sleep one time, sim­ply by get­ting enough sleep on the week­end. Give your­self the so-called “social jet­lag”. How­ev­er, this only aggra­vates the prob­lem, Ven­grzhi­novskaya empha­sized.

The fact is that a large dif­fer­ence between the dura­tion of sleep on week­days and week­ends only increas­es the ten­den­cy to overeat, gain weight and devel­op depres­sion. The doc­tor explained this by say­ing that hor­mones in our body are pro­duced in accor­dance with cir­ca­di­an rhythms, that is, at the same time to which the body gets used to.

Lack of sleep and excess weight are much more connected than it might seem at first glance.

If the regime is vio­lat­ed, hor­mon­al lev­els are also dis­rupt­ed. This in turn neg­a­tive­ly affects the func­tion­ing of the entire body. That is, if insulin is pro­duced in the morn­ing, and a per­son is sleep­ing at this time, then through­out the rest of the day he will crave car­bo­hy­drates.

There­fore, this method of deal­ing with lack of sleep does not work, and it is bet­ter not to resort to it. It is much more effec­tive to devel­op a cer­tain regime and stick to it.

How else does lack of sleep affect weight gain?

Every­thing in our body is inter­twined, so lack of sleep and weight gain are close­ly linked by a num­ber of fac­tors. But you need to under­stand: healthy sleep does not guar­an­tee weight loss, just as the lack of a nor­mal sched­ule will not nec­es­sar­i­ly lead you to extra pounds. Every­thing is indi­vid­ual.

How­ev­er, it is known for sure that poor sleep leads to changes in the body, so it will be much eas­i­er to gain a lot of weight. Here are just a few fac­tors that link lack of sleep and weight gain. There­fore, weight loss will go much slow­er if you sleep less than nor­mal.

Hormonal imbalance

Due to poor sleep, our body begins to syn­the­size a lot of cor­ti­sol. This is a stress hor­mone that is per­fect­ly neu­tral­ized by fast car­bo­hy­drates. For exam­ple, sweet. There­fore, you will reg­u­lar­ly be drawn to sweets, and with them, extra pounds will add at an astro­nom­i­cal speed.

But not only cor­ti­sol begins to be pro­duced more active­ly. Ghre­lin, the hunger hor­mone, also begins to be syn­the­sized at a high rate. And along with it, appetites and a fran­tic desire to eat some­thing high in calo­ries grow.

Lack of sleep negatively affects weight.

Lack of sleep also pro­vokes a decrease in the syn­the­sis of growth hor­mone, which is need­ed to con­vert fats into ener­gy. And with­out it, kilo­grams of fat will not go away even after gru­el­ing work­outs in the gym.

Is this not enough? Lack of sleep and weight gain in men go hand in hand thanks to anoth­er hor­mone. Testos­terone. Women also have it, but this hor­mone plays a key role in men’s health. With­out it, ener­gy will dis­ap­pear, libido will begin to decrease and new kilo­grams of fat will quick­ly come. Good is not enough.

Water retention

Dur­ing sleep, the body active­ly gets rid of excess flu­id. A lot of it accu­mu­lates dur­ing the day. Now imag­ine that you sleep less than you need. What will hap­pen to the water?

It will begin to accu­mu­late in the body, caus­ing your body to become puffy, resem­bling a ball. And extra pounds will appear on the scales. There­fore, weight gain in women often caus­es shock pre­cise­ly because of flu­id reten­tion.

There is no need to wor­ry: the water goes away quick­ly and pain­less­ly. Even with­out gru­el­ing work­outs in the gym. But the first thing you need to do is estab­lish a sleep sched­ule.

Energy deficiency

The less ener­gy the body has, the more enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly it begins to save. And you will feel it very quick­ly: you will have almost no strength left even to get out of bed, and you can com­plete­ly for­get about phys­i­cal activ­i­ty.

And the less you move, the more fat is deposit­ed on your sides. Free ener­gy needs to be stored until bet­ter times. Not a very pleas­ant prospect no mat­ter how you look at it.

Risk of developing diabetes

About 80% of peo­ple with dia­betes are over­weight. And this prob­lem often aris­es against the back­ground of ill­ness. And weight gain due to lack of sleep leads not only to extra pounds, but also to dia­betes. Which, in turn, will lead you to oth­er cat­a­stroph­ic changes in your body.

It is impossible to lose weight efficiently and safely if you do not get enough sleep regularly.

Of course, not all worka­holics who sleep 4–5 hours a day will nec­es­sar­i­ly devel­op dia­betes. But the chances are get­ting high­er, so we rec­om­mend giv­ing up unhealthy habits and get­ting a nor­mal num­ber of hours of sleep.

How to sleep properly to lose weight

First, let’s repeat: los­ing weight in your sleep with­out mak­ing oth­er efforts will not work. But by nor­mal­iz­ing your sleep sched­ule, you can achieve great results in work­ing on your body.

Con­di­tion­al­ly: you sleep poor­ly, but main­tain a calo­rie deficit and work out in the gym. On aver­age, you lose about 1.5 kilo­grams per month. If you also start sleep­ing nor­mal­ly, the fig­ure may increase to 2, and some­times up to 3 kilo­grams per month. Great raise.

So what to do:

  • deter­mine how much sleep you need. Everyone’s norm is dif­fer­ent, but on aver­age 7–9 hours of sleep is the opti­mal fig­ure;
  • go to bed at the same time every night. Reg­u­lar­i­ty will lead to good results;
  • try not to go to bed too late. The ide­al option is before mid­night;
  • give up gad­gets half an hour before bed­time;
  • ven­ti­late the room half an hour before bed­time.

These clas­sic tips should be enough, but if they do not help, con­tact a spe­cial­ist to solve your prob­lem and do not self-med­icate under any cir­cum­stances.

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