To meet all your physical needs, the National Sleep Foundation suggests getting 8 hours of sleep each night. College students, night shift workers, parents of small children, and many other people find this recommendation very challenging. You might be one of the 30% of Americans, age 30-64, who get 6 or less hours of sleep. This information about what sleep deprivation is doing to your body is for you.
Americans' fight with chronic sleep loss is widespread. This is a big problem for those Americans who also struggle to achieve healthy weight loss. Even the most strict healthy eating plans and most carefully prepared healthy meals will go to waste if the person is not getting enough sleep. Research tells us that long term sleep loss is related to an increase in obesity and diabetes.
Manipulation of hormones that affect weight loss and weight gain is another result of sleep deprivation that research has brought to our attention. The resulting insulin resistance increases the chance that you will gain weight. Other body processes that are affected by insufficient sleep are appetite, energy expended at rest, and insulin sensitivity.
Insulin resistance is an initial symptom that eventually may lead to type 2 diabetes and increased weight gain. The way this happens is that glucose is not cleared from the bloodstream, so the body must start producing extra insulin to get the job done. The pancreas is then damaged and can no longer produce the amount of insulin required. At this point, weight loss stops and insulin medication must be started in order to regulate the system.
The body's level of cortisol, a stress hormone, is another consideration for people who maintain healthy diets for weight loss issues. Obesity, particularly belly fat, and blood sugar levels are influenced by cortisol. Now, for the reason this is relevant: a research study has shown that cortisol levels increase after just one sleepless night. The study followed 33 men for 36 hours. The men slept for either 8, 4, or 0 hours in this timeframe. When cortisol levels were measured, they had jumped up 37% from baseline in the men who slept 4 hours and 45% in those who were completely sleep deprived. High cortisol levels raise blood glucose. This breaks down muscle protein and leads to a slower metabolism. So healthy eating and exercise plans essentially go to waste.
In addition to the hormonal and chemical changes that sleep deprivation triggers, there are some logical tendencies that take place when you do not get enough sleep. These tendencies, as you can imagine, do not condone how to eat healthy. The more hours you are awake, the more times you are going to eat. It would be one thing if these feeding opportunities were healthy meals, but if you are tired, you are probably going to reach for a quick and easy processed food snack. To add to this, research has found that cravings for high-carb foods become stronger and people consume more food in general when less sleep is achieved. To help yourself out, try this suggestion that keeps you eating right in any situation: keep protein powder on hand so that you can quickly make yourself a tasty and healthy shake. You can satsify a craving and get the good nutrition you need all in one convenient snack.
To develop better sleeping habits, try going to bed at the same time every night, avoiding alcohol before sleeping, keeping your bedroom at 70 degrees or cooler, and turning off the television when you lay down. It is possible that these suggestions will not work for you. Consult with a sleep doctor if you think your issues are more complicated and have underlying causes. The doctor will test your sleep pattern and figure out how you can have the best chance at sleeping well and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.