Pretty much everyone is familiar with the experience of a bad night’s sleep. You wake up feeling depleted and it is no coincidence that you are reaching for sugary foods and caffeine! Studies show that depriving people of sleep for just one night, increases cravings for junk food and decreases rational eating decisions in the frontal cortex. Well that’s not likely to help your weight, is it? If you do succumb to those cravings then you have set yourself up for a day of more cravings, hunger and fat storage as your blood sugar levels sore and crash repeatedly.
So what’s going on here and why does the sleep loss often send us on this downward spiral? Sleep affects the following hormones that are likely out of whack after a rough night:
Leptin tells your brain that you're full and regulates metabolism so you can switch to fat burning when your body needs to. Decreased sleep duration reduces leptin production so no wonder your appetite is out of control when you are tired.
Ghrelin tells your brain to eat. Sleep deprivation increases gherlin levels driving your body to want more food.
Adiponectin is an anti-inflammatory hormone produced by adipose tissue that regulates fat breakdown. Optimal adiponectin levels can reduce the risk of insulin resistance, diabetes and therefore weight gain. Reduced sleep decreases adiponectin production.
Insulin is a fat storage hormone. When it is elevated you cannot burn fat and your body holds on to it. Our cells need to be sensitive to insulin otherwise our insulin levels can get driven up. Chronic sleep loss decreases insulin sensitivity keeping our levels elevated and our body storing fat.
Glucagon releases fat from your fat cells to burn for energy. Decreased sleep duration reduces levels so your ability to burn fat will be reduced.
Cortisol, which causes us to store fat and breakdown muscle, gets chronically elevated with lack of sleep due to the increased stress.
Growth hormone, your fountain of youth, is made during deep stage 4 sleep so less sleep can reduce your levels. It aids in muscle synthesis and repair, boosts energy and improves fat metabolism.
If weight loss is elusive for you then focusing on an improved sleep routine could make a world of difference for you and should be part of your long-term strategy for health. Nutrient levels can certainly impact sleep so let us know if you’d like to get your nutrient levels tested using our $100 off deal this month.
If you want to learn more about how to Unlock Weight Loss, you might consider joining me and Fran Gallaher for our workshop on October 13th, Unlock Weight Loss – Little Known Keys that Open the Door to Your Success where we’ll share some of the nutritional and energetic areas that have been holding our clients back.