Sleep is the most essential for the rejuvenation of our body and the amount of sleep affects healthy weight loss. But unfortunately, many people are not getting enough sleep which in turn causes an imbalance in hunger hormones leading to obesity.
Sleep is one of the fuels which the brain requires to function normally. This requires at least 7-8 hours of sound sleep. Anything less than this or disturbed sleep triggers cortisol to spike which is a stress hormone. This increase in cortisol levels causes a sugar spike causing type 2 diabetes and blood pressure to rise causing hypertension.
Sleep And Its Effect On Hunger Hormones:
The hormones which regulate our hunger are Ghrelin and Leptin. Ghrelin mainly initiates hunger and leptin brings a feeling of fullness or Satiety. A lack of sleep brings about a disturbance in the secretion of these hormones. One of the studies consisting of men with deprived sleep of only 4 hours led to an increase in ghrelin and a decrease in leptin levels. This leads to feelings of increased hunger and reduced feeling of fullness thus leading to overeating and gaining unnecessary weight.
Sleep And Its Effect On Metabolism:
Metabolism is basically the body’s capacity to burn calories from the food consumed, so when a person has a higher metabolic rate he/she tends to burn more calories thus reducing the chances of gaining weight. Studies have shown that deprived sleep leads to a reduction in metabolic rate leading to chances of gaining weight. Lack of sleep is associated with increased oxidative stress which ultimately leads to faster aging of the body.
Sleep And Its Effect On Blood Sugar:
Insulin is the major hormone responsible for the uptake of glucose from the blood to various cells of our body. For a person with normal sleep the blood sugar surges while sleeping usually around 4 to 8 am this is called as dawn effect. So in healthy individuals insulin can check on blood sugar levels by signaling their uptake into the cells, liver, and muscle thus keeping the blood sugar levels stable. Whereas for those individuals who already have diabetes or who are bound to get it, there is insulin resistance present which doesn’t allow sugar uptake by cells thus leading to an increase in sugar levels in the blood.
Sleep And Its Effect On Physical Activity:
Sleep and physical activity are closely co-related as in when sleep is deprived the physical activity decreases. Lack of sleep often makes you feel fatigued, sluggish, and in no mood to do any exercise thus leading to a tendency of gaining weight. Thus 6-8 hours of sound sleep is essential.
Ways To Improve Sleep Quality:
In today’s world full of technology around us like TV, cell phones, laptops, computer it is hard for us to stay away from these gadgets till we go to sleep. Thus in order to improve our sleep we can start following the below points:
- Closing all the gadgets like phones, TV, and laptops 1 hour before going to sleep.
- Let the bed be the place where we sleep and relax and not a place for work and entertainment.
- Take a warm water bath before hitting the bed, this relaxes all the muscle soreness and initiates a good sleep.
- Deep breathing or pranayama 10-15mins before going to sleep reduces the stress hormones like cortisol which ultimately helps in initiating sleep faster.
- Stay away from caffeine at least 5 to 6 hours before sleeping, since caffeine is a stimulator that will delay sleep.
- Avoid eating heavy meals before sleeping since this will cause heartburn making it hard to sleep.
- Turn off the lights soon in your bedroom because this signals the body to release the natural sleep hormone melatonin which initiates good sleep.