This article is going to explore the effects that poor/limited sleep has on your body and how this can also affect your weight loss program and ability to get lean, ripped and lose weight. Your body weight varies mainly depending on how much/little food you eat, but there are also many other variables that can have an indirect effect on your ability to lose weight and keep it off. Recent studies have suggested that the less sleep you get, the more your hormones will be impacted, significantly affecting how you feel on a diet and how well you stick to that diet.
A lack of sleep directly influences your brain function by setting it up to make bad decisions. Sleep deprivation, or sleep debt, happens when either don’t get enough rest, or a poor night’s sleep. When this happens, it dulls the activity in your brain’s frontal lobe, which is the area that correlates with decision making and impulse control. Plus, your brain’s reward center becomes stimulated. Your tired, overworked body is essentially looking for comfort, and you are more likely to turn to comfort foods, especially high-carb, high-fat snacks. Larger portioned meals are also more likely to be chosen by the tired mind.
Rest is like a meal for your brain, and the average adult needs between 7 and 9 hours each night to function properly. Without it, the hormones that regulate both hunger and fullness are compromised and are unable to send the messages to the brain to make choices about how much food to eat.
Changes in Fat Cells
These hormone changes have a rapid effect on your body as well, and it doesn’t take much time at all to see and feel the difference. It only takes four days of sleep debt for your body to disrupt your body’s ability to properly use insulin. Insulin is the hormone that allows your body to sue the energy from food. In fact, insulin sensitivity can drop as much as 30% in this time period.
Sabotage Gym Time
Lack of sleep is the enemy of muscle, which is a big problem. Not only does being tired influence bad decisions and also create mental and physical fatigue for a less effective workout, but it literally decreases protein synthesis, which is your body’s ability to make muscle.
Tips for a Better Night’s Rest
Even the most attentive of us can fall into a pattern of poor sleep. As seen above, it doesn’t take long for your body to become compromised from a lack of rest, resulting in both short-term and long-term health risks. In fact, it is estimated that up to one third of adults are suffering from sleep debt at any given time, meaning they aren’t getting the estimated 7 to 9 hours of rest needed for a healthy sleep duration. And a lack of sleep isn’t only personal, many vehicular and industrial accidents are caused each year due to operator fatigue.
If you’re still tired despite your best efforts, consider your sleep environment. Create a bedtime ritual and schedule. If you like to read each night before bed, set a specific time to sit down be-fore bed. Turn off the television, tablets, and put down the phone 60 to 90 minutes before sleep each night.
By Frank Apodaca.