Poor Sleep Habits Makes You Pack On Pounds

I noticed that I have been adding up recently, despite that I have been depriving myself from sleep. I barely sleep for 4 hours daily, because I have a lot of work to do, and I also have to resume work by 7:30am. This kept going for 2 weeks until I got into an argument with my roommate over the effect of sleep deprivation on the body weight.

It was a big debate, “When you sleep too much, you tend to add more kilos” I bluffed.
She smiled and asked, “When do you eat much? When you have adequate sleep or when you’re sleep deprived?” then she stared at my face.
“Hmmm” I startled. I had to reason with her. “I think I eat more when I don’t sleep well” I answered.

She smiled, “Do you know why?” she asked me
I shook my head, and watched her face subtly.

Here is the reason:

Sleep deprivation is another risk factor for being overweight and obese, because sleep affects the level of the two hormones- leptin, and ghelin. These two hormones control the feelings of hunger and fullness.

Another factor that contributes to your weight gain during sleep deprivation is lack of exercise. You feel tired mostly to exercise yourself and lose weight.

When you don’t have enough sleep, it creates a viscous cycle in your body, and this cycle contributes to the factors that cause weight gain.

“The more sleep deprived you’re, the higher your levels of the stress hormone cortisol which increases your appetite”~ Barnes

{Read: Teen sleep deprivation kills creativity and performance}

The one reason you pack on pounds when you’re sleep deprived is because your body needs to survive. You body literally thinks you are in danger and it increases the actions of your hormones, which tells your body that you need more food.

The two hormones that are key in this process are gherlin and leptin.

The ghrelin is the ‘go’ hormone. It tells the brain that you need to eat, it tells your body you’re hungry and you need to eat more. When you are sleep deprived, you have more ghrelin.

Leptin is the hormone that tells the brain that you need to stop eating. When you are sleep deprived, this hormone becomes lesser.

{Read: Eating Disorders in Teens}

When you are sleep deprived, you work more, and if affects your body system and main frame. Thus, you need more energy.

How to improve this

  • Avoid caffeine in the afternoon, because it will keep you in the lighter stages of sleep
  • Exercise also helps improve your sleep quality
  • Be mindful of what you eat before bed time
  • Increase your sleep time. You will lose weight or drop pounds when you have adequate sleep

I hope this helps!


Do you have any difficulty catching some sleep? If you have any question related to your health, feel free to ask in the comment box. And don’t forget to subscribe to this blog to not miss a post.

Much love!

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