6 Sleep Deprivation Effects on Obesity and Weight Loss

The June 1, 2009 science journal Sleep states that the sleep deprivation effects of sleeping less than seven hours daily are associated with increased obesity, disease, and death.

Dozens of other medical newsletters state the same about a connection between sleep deprivation and weight gain that leads to obesity.

I've reviewed the medical literature for you on this topic and here's the gist of it. Keep in mind that the study of sleep deprivation effects on weight and obesity is just in the early stages. A lot more research needs to be done.

However, if you or a family member are working on losing weight...

There are six main things you need to know

Your weight scale can show how sleep deprivation effects weight.
  1. Chronic sleep deprivation leads to daily fatigue. This in turn makes it more difficult to find the energy and motivation to stay physically active. Daily exercise in some form is essential for weight loss.

  2. For both men and women, sleep deprevation also leads to an increase in BMI, body mass index. BMI is a formula used to estimate a person's body weight, and correlates to excess body fat. The odds of obesity were 3.7 times greater for men who slept less than 5 hours sleep each night compared to men who slept 7 to 8 hours. For women, the odds of obesity were 2.3 times greater, for less than five hours sleep. (International Journal of Obesity (December 2008.)

  3. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (January 2009) stated that sleep deprivation is also accompanied by an increased consumption of calories from snacks. These snacks were primarily from higher amounts of simple carbohydrates, foods like cake, cookies, chips, and candy. Other studies have reported the same. The food cravings from insufficient sleep appear to be caused by hormones.

  4. Here's how hormones play a big role in the sleep deprivation effects on overeating. Sleep deprivation raises blood levels of ghrelin (pronounced GRAY-lynn), the hormone that stimulates your appetite. To make matters worse, sleep deprivation lowers the levels of leptin. Leptin is a hormone that tells your brain you've eaten enough and are full, which suppresses appetite. So if you sleep well, leptin levels will normally rise, and help keep your hunger in check.

    But the triple whammy of chronic sleep deprivation, increased hunger from elevated ghrelin, and being wide awake, is a recipe for overeating, weight gain, and obesity. (By the way, if you want to do more research on this topic, the word is spelled ghrelin, not grehlin. Many websites and articles get this spelling wrong.)

  5. Sleep deprivation also elevates levels of the hormone cortisol. Chronically elevated levels of cortisol promote excess storage of fat in fat cells, particularly those cells around the abdomen.

  6. If you have children, you should know that sleep deprivation effects on obesity in children seem to be even greater than adults. Studies in children have found an association between sleep deprivation and increased television viewing, and a decrease in physical activity.

It's also interesting to note that the American Time Use Survey of 21,475 people, aged 15 or older, showed that watching television was the primary activity people engaged in before going to bed. Scientists in the Division of Sleep at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine stated in the journal Sleep (mentioned above), that giving up some of the nightly television viewing may help you find more hours for sleep.

And sleep expert Dr. William C. Dement, in his book, The Promise of Sleep, offers several sleep tips, including these: Go to bed an hour earlier than normal and don't watch television after 9:00 P.M.

This will help reduce your sleep debt...and may help reduce the negative sleep deprivation effects on your weight loss plans.

And to help you further...here's a natural sleep aid to try

From New Zealand comes Neuro-Natural Sleep. It's overflowing with natural ingredients, including hops, chamomile, passionflower, valerian, and 45 other health and sleep-enhancing nutrients. Here are some of the benefits of this sleep aid:

  • Reduces stress and anxiety

  • So potent, it doesn't even need melatonin

  • Formulated to help overcome insomnia

  • It includes vinpocetine and huperzine-A, for sharpening the memory

Try it today to help you sleep. You have nothing to lose, and everything—including a great night's sleep—to gain.

And now let's go further in our exploration of the effects of sleep deprivation on health...

Here are more articles you will find helpful.

Hypertension Diet for People With-or Without-Chronic Sleep Deprivation

17 Shocking Physical Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Effects of Sleep Deprivation on High Blood Pressure

Return from Sleep Deprivation Effects on Obesity to Sleep Disorders Home Page

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