The more we know about sleep, the more we value its role in weight loss. Sleep affects your brain, your body and your emotional well-being. When you don’t get enough sleep, it makes you feel awful. Not getting enough sleep has been linked to depression, suicide and risk-taking behavior. It also directly affects your weight.
Here are three ways a lack of sleep can affect your body weight and metabolism:
Obesity risk: With every hour of sleep you lose, your risk for obesity increases. Obesity is when your body mass index reaches 30 and above. (Your body mass index is calculated using your height, weight and gender.)
Increased risk for diabetes: When you don’t get enough sleep, it changes how your body reacts to insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar levels. If you’re sleep deficient, you’ll wind up with a higher than normal blood sugar level. This can increase your risk for Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes causes a number of health problems.
Bigger appetite. Staying up all night usually leads to lots of eating. That’s because sleep helps maintain a balane of hormones that control hunger. Grehlin makes you feel hungry while leptin makes you feel full. If you’re sleep deficient, your level of grehlin increases and leptin levels plummet. Staying well-rested helps control overeating.
How much you sleep you need each day changes throughout your life. In general, health authorities agree that adults need seven to eight hours every night.
If you’re having trouble getting seven hours every night, it could be the light from your TV or smartphone that’s keeping you awake. Bright, artificial light in the late evening disrupts your body’s process for getting sleepy. Your body needs darkness to start releasing melatonin, a hormone that makes you naturally sleepy.