Is your lack of sleep causing weight gain?

Being overweight is the result of hormonal imbalances that disrupt the metabolic system. A disrupted metabolic system leads to poor dietary choices, fatigue, increased appetite and low fat burning capacity. Sleep plays a pivotal role in regulating metabolism.

Ghrelin and leptin are two hormones that control appetite and energy metabolism. Sleep deprivation can cause a 19% decrease in the level of leptin and 28% increase in the level of ghrelin. The net result is increased appetite and decreased metabolic rate. Lack of sleep can also increase emotional eating for comfort rather than caloric need.

Insulin is another hormone that affects metabolism. In a study published in the Annals of internal medicine, researchers showed that after four nights of sleep restriction, insulin sensitivity was decreased by 30 percent. Decreased insulin sensitivity also called Insulin resistance leads to type-two diabetes and obesity. Indeed a study that followed about 70.000 women for 16 years, showed a significant increase in body weight in those who slept 5 hours or less compared to those who slept 7–8 hours.

Today we sleep on average 6.5 hours compared to 8.5 hours in the 1950s. As sleep time decreased over time there has been an increase in the prevalence of obesity. At Houston Weight Loss Surgery Center, we recommend you to improve our sleep hygiene to prevent weight gain. Here are a few tips:

  1. Keep a consistent sleep schedule. Get up at the same time every day even on weekends and vacations. Go to bed early enough to have at least seven hours of sleep.
  2. Avoid any caffeine in the afternoon. Caffeine will keep you in the lighter stages of sleep, which are associated with poor sleep.
  3. Make your bedroom quiet and relaxing. Keep the room at a comfortable temperature and limit light exposure in the evenings.
  4. Exercise regularly to improve sleep quality.
  5. Watch what you eat before bedtime. Rich heavy meals before bedtime decrease the quality of your sleep. Avoid consuming alcohol before bedtime for the same reason.
  6. Last but not least, if you snore at night, wake up with a headache or feel sleepy throughout the day, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is the sudden cessation of breathing during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea results from sudden obstruction of the airway. Obstructive Sleep apnea is very common in overweight individuals. It can lead to serious health conditions if left untreated. There are different treatment solutions for obstructive sleep apnea. The most effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea in overweight people is weight loss. At Houston Weight Loss Surgery Center, we offer outpatient testing for sleep apnea. Our patients have major improvement in sleep apnea following weight loss surgery.

In conclusion, good healthy sleep reduces your risk of weight gain. Adopting healthy sleeping habits is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. If you are overweight you may want to adopt an effective weight loss strategy to improve your health and sleep. Houston Weight Loss Surgery Center offers effective and durable weight loss solutions.