With all the motivational posts and quotes being put out daily saying sleep is for those who don’t want to reach their goals, it is tough to combat that with the truth! People see others achieving success both in their careers and physically saying they barely sleep! Keep in mind genes and other factors play a huge roll on reaction to sleep or lack thereof! Studies have found a direct connection between lack of sleep and weight gain!
The problem is many people who are sleep deprived don’t even know it. They get so use to feeling terrible they don’t even know they are feeling terrible! Then one day they wonder why their energy levels have dropped. They start having a hard time staying lean. They start having digestion issues and not recovering properly after their workouts. Lack of sleep affects your hormone levels which in turn affects your results from exercise.
Some signs you are sleep deprived:
1. You are always hungry. If your body is not getting the energy it needs, it will turn to food regardless if you need it or not. The hormone ghrelin increases which is your hunger hormone.
2.No drive to workout or be active. You are so tired you can’t muster up the energy to sit at a desk never mind workout.
3. Due to eating more and making poor choices when you are tired, you gain weight. Add in the fact you are too tired to workout and boom, excess weight.
4. Poor memory is something you will definitely experience. You mind is fatigued and you aren’t paying attention to details. Sleep is crucial to detox the body. It keeps the nervous system clear of toxins.
5. Your motor skills are off. You may seem a lot clumsier! You will also find it hard to complete exercises with good form during your workouts which can lead to injury and poor results.
6. You become way more emotional. It could be tears or it could be anger or it could be going from one emotion to another in the matter of minutes! This is never a good feeling.
7. Your skin starts looking bad. Sleep is crucial for cell regeneration. Lack of it means lack of regeneration. It also elevates circulating estrogen, even in men.
8. You have read the above sentences more than once! You lack concentration making it hard to get work done.
9. Going back to regeneration of cells. If you workout hard in the gym repairing the body is crucial to optimal results! Sleep is where your body gets the job done! Lack of rest from workouts and lack of sleep never allows the body to repair, which means it is never going to get better from where you are! If anything it could regress!
Related: Stress Is Not Sexy
If you are sleep deprived, there are some obvious links to obesity, like the above and much more. But there are also a number of things going on in your body that could add to weight gain. In scientific studies, the most commonly seen effects of sleep deprivation are hormonal upsets, mostly involving the hormones leptin and ghrelin.
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body has too little leptin and too much ghrelin.
Leptin and Ghrelin
The hormone leptin regulates appetite, metabolism and calorie burning. Leptin is the chemical that tells your brain when you’re full, when it should start burning up calories and when it should create energy for your body to use. It triggers a series of responses that starts in the hypothalamus and ends in the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland controls the way your body stores and uses energy.
During sleep, leptin levels increase, telling your brain you have plenty of energy for the time being and there’s no need to trigger the feeling of hunger or the burning of calories. Which makes sense considering. When you don’t get enough sleep, you end up with too little leptin in your body making your brain think you don’t have enough energy for your needs. Your brain tells you that you’re hungry, even though you don’t actually need food at that time, and it takes steps to store the calories you eat as fat so you’ll have enough energy the next time you need it.
The decrease in leptin from sleep deprivation can result in a constant feeling of hunger and a general slow-down of your metabolism.
Another hormone found to be related to lack of sleep and weight gain is ghrelin. The purpose of ghrelin is the opposite of leptin. It tells your brain when you need to eat, when it should stop burning calories and when it should store energy as fat. During sleep, levels of ghrelin decrease. Sleep requires far less energy obviously. People who don’t sleep enough end up with too much of the hormone ghrelin in their system. The body now thinks it’s hungry and that it needs more calories. It stops burning those calories because it thinks there’s a shortage.
Sleep deprivation can also increase levels of stress hormones (cortisol) and become resistant to insulin. Both of will also contribute to weight gain. Insulin resistance can also lead to type 2 diabetes.
Related: Getting A Restful Sleep
When it comes to exercise and getting positive results, sleep is of extreme importance. You do not get muscular gains during your workouts! It is during rest where you get the gains. When you sleep your body rejuvenates and repairs damaged tissue.
Sleep is even more important as we get older. Especially if you are working out regularly or extremely active! I know most of you think money doesn’t sleep, but you can’t make money if you get sick, or if it throws off your mental focus.
Getting the adequate amount of sleep won’t throw off your hustle. It will make you more efficient. You will definitely be easier to deal with! Remember positivity attracts positivity! I personally suffer from lack of sleep at times. There is a huge difference in my production level when I am NOT sleep deprived. I can see the changes in my body and feel less stress on my body!
Health is not just about a great physique, it is about a great mind and spirit as well! Think holistically and you will start seeing the amazing results!