Going Straight To Bed After Dinner
Similarly, going to bed straight after dinner without doing anything else in between wont help either. This bad habit means that your body will be holding onto more fat. In the end, this does nothing to promote good digestion.
Instead, its recommended that you eat dinner between 1.5 and 2 hours before going to bed to avoid gaining weight while sleeping.
What Can Happen If You Dont Get Enough Sleep
Chronic lack of sleep can affect you in a number of surprising ways.
When youre tired, your body produces a hunger-stimulating hormone called ghrelin. At the same time, the hormone that makes you feel satisfied drops. As a result, you may have mad cravings for foods that are high in fat and carbohydrates, just because you havent been getting enough sleep.
Chances are, if youre fast asleep in bed, youre not eating . If you stay up late at night, you simply have more hours in the day to eat. And, late-night snacks can make you gain weight.
Sleep-deprived people rarely head to the gym. However, when youre well rested, you have more energy for physical activity. Even small amounts of exerciselike brisk 10-minute walksburns calories.
When your metabolism slows down, you burn fewer calories throughout the day when youre at rest. Getting the recommended amount of sleep each night can help increase your metabolism.
Banish Electronic Devices From Your Bedroom
Dont scroll through your Facebook feed before you drift off to dreamland if you want to lose weight overnight. Studies show that nighttime exposure to blue light, which is emitted by smartphones, tablets, and even energy-efficient lighting , disrupts the production of the hormone melatonin and that could slow down your metabolism. Harvard researchers found that blue-light exposure can suppress melatonin production for twice as long as natural light and shift the bodys circadian rhythms by twice as much. A study from Northwestern University found that being exposed to blue light at night increases hunger and insulin resistance, which can, in turn, result in weight gain, increased body fat and a greater risk of diabetes.
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Menopause Sleeping And Weight Gain
Menopausal women may put on weight for a variety of reasons. For example, we know that decreased estrogen levels encourage fat to be stored on the stomach. However, weight gain during menopause is probably also caused by the sleep disruptions that occur during this time.
For example, menopausal women are more likely to experience night sweats, and nocturia . Once theyve woken from sleep, it can be challenging to get back to sleep. As such, many women turn to the snack cupboard for comfort.
Moreover, women are more likely to develop sleep apnea after menopause. This is partly because hormonal changes encourage muscles in the neck to relax thereby obstructing the airways. People with sleep apnea are more likely to secrete adrenaline and cortisol during the night . As a result, this may affect their appetite, causing them to overeat the following day.
Is It Unhealthy To Sleep During The Day And Be Awake At Night
Sleeping during the day and staying awake at night can disrupt your natural sleep-wake cycle and cause a hormone imbalance. When the production of melatonin, cortisol, and other hormones becomes irregular, normal bodily functions, such as appetite, immune function, and digestion, are also disrupted. Additionally, an erratic sleep-wake schedule can also make it difficult for us to remain alert during the day and sleep naturally at night.
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It Can Reduce Your Cravings For Unhealthy Food
It takes a lot of willpower to order a salad over a pizza, and research shows that how much sleep youve clocked can make or break your resolve. In a small but intriguing study published in the journal NatureCommunications, Walker and his research team put 23 healthy, non-obese men and women through two sleep-related tests. In the first experiment, the men and women got a full eight hours of sleep, and in the second they were sleep-deprived for one night. The following day, they were placed in a brain scanner and asked to rate how desirable certain foods were to them, from a piece of fruit to things like ice cream. After a full night of rest, the people in the study tended to prefer healthier foods. But when they were sleep-deprived, the same men and women not only craved more junk food, but the area of their brains in charge of making rational decisionslike healthy food choiceswas inhibited. Overall, the sleep-deprived people wanted foods that contained on average 600 calories more than what they craved when they were well rested.
We are finding that getting a full night of sufficient sleep actually helps you reboot and refresh the circuits of the human brain, allowing it to make optimal food choices, says Walker. These food choices may put you on a path toward weight control, rather than weight gain.
Do You Burn Calories When Sleeping
As the body carries out essential functions during sleep, we naturally burn calories. The amount of calories you burn while sleeping depends on your body weight and metabolism. Typically, a person who weighs 125 pounds burns 38 calories per hour when sleeping. Someone who weighs 185 pounds burns around 56 calories per hour.
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Understanding The Reasons For Weight Gain
The study participants did not identify the specific factors that contribute to weight gain in women who had less sleep.
“We don’t have an answer from this study about why reduced sleep causes weight gain, but there are some possibilities that deserve further study,” Patel says. “Sleeping less may affect changes in a person’s basal metabolic rate . Another contributor to weight regulation that has recently been discovered is called non-exercise associated thermogenesis It may be that if you sleep less, you move around less, too, and therefore burn up fewer calories.”
Another important factor to consider is the impact of sleep on cortisol levels. Insufficient sleep can cause the release of additional cortisolthe stress hormoneand can stimulate hunger.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average woman gets only six and a half hours of sleep per night. Chronic sleep deprivation can have a variety of effects on metabolism and overall health.
- Interferes with the body’s ability to metabolize carbohydrates and causes high blood levels of glucose, which leads to higher insulin levels and greater body-fat storage.
- Drives down leptin levels, which causes the body to crave carbohydrates.
- Reduces levels of growth hormone–a protein that helps regulate the body’s proportions of fat and muscle.
- Can lead to insulin resistance and contribute to increased risk of diabetes
- Can increase blood pressure
- Can increase the risk of heart disease
How Much Weight Can I Safely Lose Each Week
So you want to lose weight, but you donât want to follow any extreme or fad diet program. Good for you! The Center for Disease ControlTrusted Source recommends that people who are looking to lose weight aim to lose between 1â2 pounds per week for safe, healthy weight loss. This not only helps you avoid unhealthy means of weight loss, but is much more likely to correlate with long-term weight loss.
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Try Your Sleep Switch
Don’t count sheep, eat lamb! Or better yet, a bit of turkey. Tryptophan, an amino acid found in most meats, has demonstrated powerful sleep-inducing effects. A study published in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease among “mild” insomniacs found that just 1/4 gramabout what you’ll find in a skinless chicken drumstick or three ounces of lean turkey meatwas enough to increase hours of deep sleep significantly. And that can translate into easy weight loss.
“Any tryptophan-containing food, which includes nuts, chicken, fish, lentils, and eggs, can help usher in sleepyhead syndrome,” says , coach at Crossfit Spot Barbell in New York. “If you’re the type who can’t sleep on an empty stomach, a healthy source of fat like avocado or nut butter can help stave off hunger, while providing restorative properties,” she adds.
Can Sleep Apnea Cause Weight Gain
It also appears that OSA patients, in particular, may be more susceptible to weight gain than people who have the same BMI and health status but do not suffer from sleep apnea. This is illustrated in one study that showed people with OSA gained significantly more weight in the year leading up to their OSA diagnosis compared with BMI-matched people without OSA.
Sleep apnea can also deplete people of the energy they need to maintain a healthy body weight. Daytime sleepiness is a common sleep apnea symptom, resulting from fragmented, unrefreshing sleep. Evidence suggests excessive sleepiness may lead sleep apnea sufferers to exert less physical activity during waking hours. This may be particularly problematic for obese people, who frequently experience more shortness of breath and chest discomfort with physical effort, resulting in limited exercise. Without dietary changes, decreased activity levels can lead to additional weight gain.
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The Importance Of A Sleep Routine
So, as you can see, going to bed late can impact your mood, metabolism, and appetite. This is because going to bed late shortens the duration of your sleep, and makes your sleep more fragmented. Ultimately, poor sleep may lead to weight gain.
If you are trying to maintain or lose weight, take a look at your sleeping pattern. First and foremost, look at the total number of hours you are sleeping. If it is regularly less than seven then you need to make more time for sleep. Look at your schedule and allocate a new bedtime that will allow for 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
If possible, try and set your routine so that you are waking up close to sunrise. Light are the most important cues for our circadian rhythm so try to use sunlight to your advantage. This will help to boost your energy levels, making you more likely to commit to a diet and exercise regime.
Sleep Apnea And Cardiovascular Health
Sleep apnea affects a persons entire cardiovascular system in several ways. Each time a breathing lapse occurs, the bodys oxygen supply drops, triggering a fight or flight response. When this response occurs, blood pressure surges and heart rate increases, causing the sleeper to awaken and reopen their airway. This cycle repeats throughout the night. The cyclic rising and falling blood oxygen levels can cause inflammation, which in turn may lead to atherosclerosis which is associated with heart attacks, stroke, and high blood pressure.
Sleep apnea also elevates carbon dioxide and glucose levels in the blood, disrupts the part of the nervous system that controls heartbeat and blood flow, increases insulin resistance, and alters the flow of oxygen and carbon dioxide. As a result, sleep apnea is associated with the following heart, lung, and metabolic problems, among others:
- Atrial fibrillation and other arrhythmias
- Heart failure
- Stroke and transient ischemic attacks
- Coronary heart disease
- Metabolic syndrome
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May Help You Avoid Weight Gain Associated With Short Sleep
Short sleep usually defined as fewer than 67 hours has been repeatedly linked to a higher body mass index and weight gain.
One analysis of 20 studies including 300,000 people found a 41% increased obesity risk among adults who slept fewer than 7 hours per night. In contrast, sleep was not a factor in the development of obesity in adults who slept longer .
Another study found short sleep duration to be significantly associated with greater waist circumference, which is an indicator of the accumulation of belly fat (
Studies have also found similar associations in children and adolescents.
In a recent review of 33 observational and intervention studies, short sleep duration was associated with an increased risk of obesity. Interestingly, for every additional hour of sleep, BMI scores decreased .
Another review of many observational studies found short sleep duration was associated with a significantly higher risk of obesity in these different age groups (
- Early childhood: 57% increased risk
- Middle childhood: 123% increased risk
- Adolescence: 30% increased risk
One major review found that short sleep duration increased the likelihood of obesity in children by 3045% .
Though lack of sleep is only one factor in the development of obesity, research suggests it negatively affects hunger levels, influencing a person to consume more calories from high fat and high sugar foods.
Poor Sleep Changes Your Fat Cells
Think about the last time you had a bad night of sleep. How did you feel when you woke up? Exhausted. Dazed. Confused. Maybe even a little grumpy? It’s not just your brain and body that feel that wayyour fat cells do, too. When your body is sleep-deprived, it suffers from “metabolic grogginess.” The term was coined by University of Chicago researchers who analyzed what happened after just four days of poor sleepsomething that commonly happens during a busy week. One late night at work leads to two late nights at home, and next thing you know, you’re in sleep debt.
But it’s just four nights, so how bad could it be? You might be able to cope just fine. After all, coffee does wonders. But the hormones that control your fat cells don’t feel the same way.
Within just four days of sleep deprivation, your body’s ability to properly use insulin becomes completely disrupted. In fact, the University of Chicago researchers found that insulin sensitivity dropped by more than 30 percent.
Here’s why that’s bad: When your insulin is functioning well, fat cells remove fatty acids and lipids from your bloodstream and prevent storage. When you become more insulin-resistant, fats circulate in your blood and pump out more insulin. Eventually, this excess insulin ends up storing fat in all the wrong places, such as tissues like your liver. And this is exactly how you become fat and suffer from diseases like diabetes.
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Will Sleeping In The Afternoon Make Me Fat
Napping can disrupt your circadian rhythm. Anything that deregulates your circadian rhythm could play havoc with your energy levels and make it more difficult to sleep at night.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that people who regularly napped during the day slept worse at night and had a higher BMI. Of course, we cant say for sure whether the naps influenced weight gain or whether their high BMI made it harder to sleep at night .
Nevertheless, most health professionals would advise you only to take a daytime nap if you need it because naps will probably interfere with your ability to get a good nights sleep. People that work irregular shifts or drive long distances can use naps to increase their productivity. For the rest of us, we should focus on improving our nighttime rest if we want to keep our energy levels up.
Simple Ways To Be More Active
Although we may make excuses such as being too busy or tired, remember, physical activity does not have to be overly strenuous.
Even moderate amounts of physical activity of about 30 minutes a day can speed up our metabolic rate and help us lose weight. We may also find ourselves less tired and have more energy to do the things we enjoy.
When starting out, take it slowly. You can increase your activity levels by simply increasing movement throughout the day. The human body is designed for movement and any physical activity brings benefits.
Try these simple suggestions:
- Incorporate moderate intensity activities into your day .
- If you drive to work, walk or ride your bike.
- If you need to drive, try to include some movement into your day. Park further away or take public transport.
- While at work, speak to your colleagues in person rather than emailing them.
- If you spend most of the day sitting at work, get a stand-up desk or hold stand up meetings. Go for a walk at lunchtime.
- When shopping, park further away.
- Play a sport or do an activity you enjoy.
- Walk instead of taking the car on short trips.
- Get off the train, bus or tram one stop early and walk the rest of the way.
- Play more outdoor games with your family and friends.
- Walk the dog.
- Take stairs instead of lifts.
- Choose fun activities, rather than those you think are good for you. This gives you a greater chance at sticking with them.
- Be creative take up an activity you enjoyed as a child.
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Yes We Lose Carbon At Night Says This Reader But Water Too Remember The H2o
Several of our readers have written in to say Derek’s explanation for overnight weight loss needs one important amendment. They say Derek’s right that we lose carbon atoms when we sleep. Nobody argues with that. “Yes, you are technically losing carbons,” writes “Bologna Vest,” “but that’s not all you’re losing. That’s not even MOST of what you’re losing.”
Here’s “Bologna’s” version: When we sleep we also exhale water vapor. On most nights, the room we’re in is cooler than we are. Our throat, our lungs, the inside of us, is roughly 98 degrees. The bedroom might be 75 degrees. When you breathe in, cool air enters your body. Then, when it’s time to exhale, says Bologna Vest, “our body moistens the surfaces of our lungs and the air we exhale, now warmed to approximately 90F has a relative humidity of almost 100%” which means, I think, that when you breathe out, your breath pulls water from inside you and “whoosh!” once it goes, you lose a little bit of water-weight. Anyone who’s had to lug a pail of water knows that H2O has mass. Now, multiply by a night of breaths and gazillions of atoms, and there’s a second explanation for weight loss: disappearing water vapor.
“Bologna” says, while we do lose weight from carbon depletion all night, we lose MORE weight from water depletion.
Here’s what “Bologna” says. If anybody thinks he/she’s wrong, let us know.