Livewell: Health Insurance & Wellness Blogs | Max Bupa
PUTTING ON EXTRA POUNDS? BLAME IT ON YOUR SLEEP
Pumping iron at the gym. Eating the extra proteins and superfoods. That’s great but are you ignoring something important? Research shows that sleep plays an important role in your health and missing out on your slumber can actually make you heavier.
THE EAT-SLEEP-REPEAT CONNECTION
Researchers at the University of Chicago discovered that dieters sleeping less over a 14-day period also reduced their ability to lose weight even when their calorie intake remained the same. Plus, they had more hunger pangs and felt less satiated after meals, which led to a lack of energy and activity.
Another study by the University of Columbia showed that people who slept less than four hours every night were 73 percent more likely to be obese than those who slept seven to nine hours of sleep. The study also revealed that people who get five hours of sleep had a 50 percent greater risk of being obese.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE SLEEPLESS?
When we are low on sleep, our hormones go on overdrive. For example, the stress hormone cortisol shoots up, which can create a production of glucose, which leads to weight gain. Two more hormones – leptin and ghrelin which play a critical role in our well-being are also impacted.
Leptin regulates the level of calories, metabolism, and appetite. Sleep deprivation causes low levels of leptin. A decrease in leptin makes you feel sluggish and results in poor metabolism, which leads to weight gain.
Ghrelin, on the other hand, sends signals to the brain telling it when to stop burning calories and when to store energy. When you don’t get enough sleep, Ghrelin shoots up which makes the body want more food and calories even when it does not need it.
HERE’S HOW TO SLEEP MORE AND BURN MORE:
KEEP CALM AND SLEEP
Meditation and yoga can help you to keep calm and stay focused. Try meditation techniques for a few nights to sleep tight.
GOOD SLEEPING GEAR
A good batsman needs proper gear on the ground to score well. Similarly, you need the right sleeping gear to rise and shine, every day. This means getting a comfy mattress, pillow, sheets, and blanket.
Exercise keeps you in shape and is a great stress-buster. At the same time, you feel tired after an exercise, which makes you hit the sack easily every night.
EAT LIGHT, SLEEP TIGHT
Avoid heavy meals before bedtime as they can cause acidity and cause uneasiness in the stomach. Avoid having sweets and soda drinks as they contain sugars, which can convert to fat while you sleep. And yes, avoid caffeine, which can keep you awake for a long time.
NO SCREENS FOR SWEET DREAMS
Keep away from smart devices like mobile phones, tabs, and laptops. These release blue light, which can disrupt your sleeping patterns. Plus, you don’t want to check those notifications when you need to catch some deep sleep.