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Did You Know Lack of Sleep Makes You Fat?

Written and reviewed by
Dt. Manidipa Dey 89% (70 ratings)
Post Graduation In Dietetics & Applied Nutrition, B.sc (H) In Food & Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Secunderabad  •  11 years experience
Did You Know Lack of Sleep Makes You Fat?

Did you know that lack of sleep can make you fatter? Here's how.

Lack of sleep doesn't only affect your mood and concentration levels, it also affects your weight. Studies show that not getting enough sleep can be responsible for your increasing waistline and bulky frame. 

Here's how sleep impacts your weight. 

1. Sleep deprivation leads towards consumption of foods that give quick energy
When you've had less sleep than what you require, you feel a lack of energy while performing your daily chores. This can cause you to increase your intake of instant energy-giving foods like potato chips and chocolates or other foods with high carbohydrate and fat content. As a result, you may end up accumulating more kilos on your body.

2. A sleepy brain experiences difficulty in making decisions
Sleeplessness has a negative effect on your body as it prevents you from having complete control of your brain, which may ultimately make you a bad decision maker; especially when it comes to choice of food. You may lack the mental clarity required to avoid calorie-rich foods and may try to fulfil your food cravings with the first available serving of food.

Sleep deprived people are more likely to munch on late night, unhealthy snacks, which are responsible for making them fatter. Lack of sleep also leads you towards consuming foods in greater quantity.

3. The sleep-diet connection 
Sleep deprivation results in the improper functioning of your metabolism and increases the hormone 'ghrelin' (responsible for regulating the frequency of food intake) and decreases the amount of the hormone 'leptin' (responsible for indicating when to stop food consumption). More ghrelin and lesser leptin imply more amount of food consumption, which consequently leads to weight gain.

How to implement an enhanced sleep pattern in your lifestyle?

You can try out the following remedies to ensure that you get good quality sound sleep.
- To begin with, try to abstain from caffeine consumption in any form during the afternoons as it affects your sleep routine at night. 
- Design a sleep schedule for yourself and try to follow it every day, even at weekends.
- Do not consume heavy meals or alcohol before bedtime as it may result in indigestion and may make it difficult for you to fall asleep.
- Also, you can enhance the quality of your sleep by exercising daily. However, ensure that you don't exercise just before sleeping as exercising can cause your energy levels to rise, making it difficult for you to fall asleep.

If you would like to consult with me privately, please click on 'Consult'.

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