Mom caught me passed out a few months back in NY.
I don’t think there is any doubt….
“It’s not so much that if you sleep, you will lose weight, but if you are sleep-deprived, meaning that you are not getting enough minutes of sleep or good quality sleep, your metabolism will not function properly,” explains Michael Breus, PhD, author of Beauty Sleepand the clinical director of the sleep division for Arrowhead Health in Glendale, Ariz.
Exactly how lack of sleep affects our ability to lose weight has a lot to do with our nightly hormones, explains Breus.
The two hormones that are key in this process are ghrelin and leptin. “Ghrelin is the ‘go’ hormone that tells you when to eat, and when you are sleep-deprived, you have more ghrelin,” Breus says. “Leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating, and when you are sleep deprived, you have less leptin.”
More ghrelin plus less leptin equals weight gain.
“You are eating more, plus your metabolism is slower when you are sleep-deprived,” Breus says.
The research showed that depriving people of sleep for one night created pronounced changes in the way their brains responded to high-calorie junk foods. On days when the subjects had not had proper sleep, fattening foods like potato chips and sweets stimulated stronger responses in a part of the brain that helps govern the motivation to eat. But at the same time, the subjects experienced a sharp reduction in activity in the frontal cortex, a higher-level part of the brain where consequences are weighed and rational decisions are made.
Researchers at the University of Chicago found that dieters who were well rested lost more fat—56% of their weight loss—than those who were sleep deprived, who lost more muscle mass. (They shed similar amounts of total weight regardless of sleep.)
Dieters in the study also felt more hungry when they got less sleep.
“Sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same sectors of the brain,” Dr. Rapoport says. “When you are sleepy, certain hormones go up in your blood, and those same hormones drive appetite.”
…when it comes to recovery, sleep is every bit as important as what you eat or drink. There’s evidence that lack of sleep interferes with the metabolism of glucose, which muscles depend on for recovery. “Sleep plays a critical role in restoring the body, especially after bouts of exercise,” says William O. Roberts, M.D., associate professor at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine and medical director of the Twin Cities Marathon.
Sleep is important!
Yet every night I stay up, procrastinating sleep, trying to get that last thing done, a few more emails read, a little more kid-free time with The Husband watching that new show we just HAVE to watch. And you know what I normally end up doing in that last hour when I really SHOULD be in bed?
Normally it’s something I don’t want to be eating — something I was able to quickly grab out of the pantry. Something I promised myself I wouldn’t eat in a pre-bed sleep-deprived stupor, but I did. Again.
I’m done. I’m waving the white flag. I’m tired and it’s time to make sleep a priority.
How about you? Do You Get Enough Sleep?