by JCC Association
Ghrelin and Leptin: These opposing hormones play an active role in appetite and can get seriously imbalanced in a sleep-deprived body. When sleep slips away, Ghrelin (hunger stimulant) production increases while Leptin (appetite suppressant) decreases, leading to an increased appetite.
Cortisol: The secretion of this appetite regulator is compromised when sleep is lost, leaving the body on its own to determine whether it’s truly hungry. Most often, the body fails with this task and a person is left with a perpetual feeling of hunger. If the hunger is pacified with food, overeating and weight gain are generally the result.
Sleep Apnea (periodic and brief closing of air passages) causes interrupted sleeping. This could translate to eight hours of shut-eye, but only four hours of actual sleep. Researchers theorize that this interrupted schedule produces a resistance to our degree-of-fullness signal where the stomach sends a message to the brain that it’s full, but the brain isn’t “taking messages” and results in overeating.
As Kenneth Wright of the University of Colorado’s Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory stated, “… when people get insufficient sleep, it leads them to eat more than they actually need.”
In fact, our carbohydrate craving increases by as much as 45%! It’s no wonder that when we fall below our individual sleep requirements, our chances of gaining weight can increase as much as 50%–70% depending on how much and how long we’ve been deprived. To exacerbate this problem, sleep loss may interfere with our body’s ability to metabolize carbohydrates, leading to heightened levels of blood sugar, excess insulin, and increased fat storage.
So, if you’re looking for the magic “pill” for weight loss, look no further than your “pill”ow and catch some ZzZzZzz’s!
Sources: WebMD, Huffington Post