Are you stuck trying to figure out why you’re gaining weight — or why it’s so difficult to lose those extra pounds that just seemed to sneak up on you despite not changing your diet or exercise habits?
This is often referred to as Weight Loss Resistance – and it’s exactly how it sounds: weight that just won’t budge no matter what you do!
Here’s one surprising reason why you might be gaining weight or experiencing weight loss resistance: lack of good quality, restorative sleep.
In fact, there are actually science-backed reasons why a lack of sleep can be a strong contributing factor to not being able to maintain a healthy weight as well as why it is important to get a good sleep routine established, whether you have chronic pain or not.
Take a read in the last blog post on sleep for #Sleep Week March 4-11
Can Lack of Sleep Cause Weight Gain?
Well, if you thought unsightly dark circles under the eyes were the worst outcome from cutting corners on sleep, you might want to think again.
Sleep is of the utmost importance to nearly every bodily system, and losing out on it, even just a little, creates a vicious cycle in your body.
But, could your bad sleep habits be messing with your weight?! Let’s explore all of the different ways this concerning phenomenon could be going on in your bedroom every night!
Why Lack Of Sleep Causes Weight Gain
- First, and for example, where a healthy body weight may be of concern, the more sleep deprived you are, the higher your levels of stress hormone (cortisol) will be, which tends to increase your appetite.
Then, once the appetite is increased, a lack of sleep also thwarts your body’s natural ability to process sugar and carbohydrates – which of course is what you’re craving after a crappy night’s sleep!
Additionally, when you’re overtired, the mitochondria (little cellular factories that turn food and oxygen into energy = metabolism centers) actually start to shut down. This causes glucose to stay in your blood, and you end up with high blood sugar levels.
- Second. Insulin is a hormone whose job it is to signal the body’s muscle, fat, and liver cells to absorb glucose from the bloodstream to be used for energy. A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine reported that skimping on sleep can cause fat cells to become less insulin-sensitive by up to 30% – meaning they lose their ability to use insulin properly.
- Third, and yet another reason you might pack on pounds when you’re lacking in sleep is because your body goes into survival mode – much like when we deprive our bodies of too little energy & calories. Therefore, survival mode = extra fat storage. (The body thinks it’s better to be fat than dead!)
And All Of That Isn’t Even The Worst Of It!
Research says that just 30 minutes of lost sleep per day could make you more likely to gain weight.
Sleep could arguably be the most important thing a person can do if they’re ready to start a new health optimization plan, help reduce intensity and frequency of flare-ups with chronic pain, and just feel better – and the first step is to make quality sleep a priority.
Sleeping isn’t just a time to rest — you’re actually nourishing your body just as you are when you’re eating healthy foods. It may require some behavioral and mindset shifts on your part, but your body (and booty) will thank you.
BONUS RECIPE … in the next blog post
If you or someone you know needs help getting a more restful sleep – for better health overall? Try tea not pills! I have a super easy, but surprisingly comforting DIY Sleepytime Herbal Tea Blend recipe that will have you counting sheep (and maintaining a healthy weight…) in no time.
Keep on following me (and mentioning me to others) at http://www.theotherpainclinic.com for informational education about a variety of health related topics and supportive recipes.