Fitness experts recommend a good amount of sleep for all those who are interested in losing weight.
According to the researchers at the Sleep, Metabolism and Health Center at the University of Chicago, sleep disorder or loss in sleep probably affects almost every body process.
“There is no doubt that insufficient sleep promotes hunger and appetite, which can cause excessive food intake resulting in weight gain. Our body is not wired for sleep deprivation. The human is the only mammal that does this,” says Eve Van Cauter, director of the Sleep, Metabolism and Health Center, who has spent 15 years studying the topic.
In the study, the researchers tried to figure out why people who are overweight are generally chronically sleep-deprived. Researchers say this problem of sleep may be the reason why young mothers, students or shift workers develop extra flab.
During the study period, the researchers found that when the participants faced sleep deprivation for five days, they consumed more fats and carbohydrates. As a result, they gained nearly 2 pounds during the study period.
“When people are sleepy, they make poor food choices and are more likely to eat more than they need,” said Kenneth Wright, director of sleep and chronobiology laboratory at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
Wright further said, “When those folks got enough sleep, they reduced their intake of both carbohydrates and fats”.
During the study the researchers came across following findings:
• Those with sleep disorders have high levels of ghrelin, a hunger hormone. They also have decreased leptin levels, a hormone of the satiety/fullness. As a result, they engage in overeating and weight gain.
• They were found to have engaged in consuming about 300 calories a day more than when they are well-rested. It means the extra calories came from fatty foods. They were found to be eating more than required for staying awake longer, especially at night. Researchers say this can lead to significant weight gain.
• They are engaged in eating more snacks while doing less physical activity.
Hence, the researchers conclude that for getting back into shape you must not forget to have a good sleep along with exercise and balanced diet.