How Lack of Sleep Impacts Fitness and Weight Loss
There has been a lot of debate on exactly how sleep impacts fitness and weight loss.
Some say that those who have become physically accustomed to sleeping for a few hours daily won’t have adverse health and mental issues. But there are many, including those in the medical field, who are united in saying that there are indeed demonstrable effects of having bad sleeping habits.
Let’s learn the different ways sleep impacts fitness and weight loss so you can determine whether you really have good sleeping habits or how you might fix them.
Impacts of sleeping habits on fitness and weight loss
As mentioned, experts agree that lack of sleep can have damaging effects on the physical and mental health of an individual. But to gain a better understanding of this, we have to lay down the specific ways just how sleep impacts fitness and weight loss. Read on:
It slows down your metabolism. It’s proven that people who don’t sleep enough in a day (less than six hours) can mess up their metabolism.
A slowed-down metabolic process can lead to weight gain, which is not exactly what people who wish to have a fit body would like.
Your physical workouts are negatively affected. Not having enough sleep can make you sluggish and greatly diminishes your energy to do physical activities, like exercise.
If you happen to be on a fitness program, this could be specifically problematic since you’d most likely skip working out and therefore have trouble reaching your goals.
You will feel hungry more often. One of the most common negative effects of sleep deprivation is the constant feeling of being hungry even after a normally hearty meal.
This happens because your body tends to release hormones that would induce a feeling of being on an empty stomach. These hormones are called leptin and ghrelin.
When you don’t have enough sleep, your body produces less leptin, which makes your stomach feel empty. Meanwhile, the same process produces more ghrelin, which in turn stimulates hunger and cuts down the calories that your body burns.
The result? You tend to feel hungry often and eat more than what is advisable while gaining weight in the process.
You might end up a diabetic. A lot of people are not aware that having poor sleeping habits can actually lead to diabetes.
As far-fetched as it may sound to many, your body’s insulin function gets disrupted and results in fat cells being distributed to organs where they should not be, like your liver.
Over time, insulin resistance could lead to a person developing diabetes and suffering from related complications.
Now that you have a better knowledge about how sleep impacts fitness and weight loss, the next sensible thing to ask is what can proper sleeping habits do for you? The good news is that you stand to enjoy some awesome benefits just by having enough sleep day after day.
Here are some of the things that you can enjoy when you observe proper sleeping habits:
You’ll wake up feeling energized. With enough sleep the night before, you will wake up feeling energized and ready to take on the day’s challenges. Sleep recharges not only your body, but also your mind, so you’re always in perfect condition to perform your daily activities.
You can avoid binge eating or feeling hungry too often. Proper sleep will help normalize your hormones and prevent you from feeling like you have an empty stomach and eating too much as a result.
Your leptin and ghrelin hormones will be kept at a normal level and you will eat just the right amount of food, which will help you avoid adding unwanted pounds.
You can make clear decisions. Sleep deprived individuals lose some of their motor skills and ability to think clearly and make critical decisions.
There have been countless stories of drivers suddenly dozing off in the middle of the road and causing often fatal crashes. With proper sleep, your mind will be alert and you can make clear decisions when needed.
You won’t fall victim to health issues associated with sleep deprivation. Just by sleeping properly each day, you can help avoid falling victim to different diseases caused by improper sleep habits. While by no means a 100% assurance, ample sleep can help you avoid diabetes, muscle loss, obesity, heart diseases, cognitive failure, and the like.
The bottom line?
Put away the phone and computer 2 hours before bedtime. don’t check email or texts one last time before crawling under the covers.
Turn off the television - don’t climb into bed watching it and fall asleep to it; you are guaranteed to wake up a few hours later, totally wired.
Stop food and alcohol intake 2-3 hours before bedtime.
Think happy thoughts as you climb into bed.
Develop and maintain proper sleep habits no matter how busy your daily schedule may be. It’s something that you owe to yourself and something that your loved ones would surely thank you for.
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Sleep Impacts Fitness and Weight
Your mind gets messed up, literally. Sleep deprivation is known to affect the brain’s frontal lobe area where complex decisions are processed. There is also increased activity in the region known as the amygdala, which is responsible for ordering your body to reward itself, like eating sweets and high-calorie foods.
Lack of sleep also messes up your insular complex, where the desire to indulge in these kinds of food is being fought off.
In short, being sleep deprived means you lose the mental ability to fight such urges, which could lead to you gaining pounds when you should be losing them.
Your body finds difficulty recovering from exercises. Not sleeping enough could slow down your body’s production of growth hormones, which not only help burn fat and prevent aging, but also helps your body recover from the physical exhaustion of doing exercises and other physical activities.
Even just a single night of sleep deprivation can increase your cortisol level, which is called the stress hormone. An increased cortisol level is a trigger for slowing growth hormone production.
The bottom line is that lack of sleep will lower your body’s coping mechanism, so every exercise may seem like a heavy burden until you get to a point where you’d avoid any physical activity altogether.