Sleep & Weight Loss
“Lose weight while you sleep.” It sounds like something you’d hear on a late night infomercial!
But as wild as the idea sounds, substantial medical evidence suggests some fascinating links between sleep and weight. Researchers say that how much you sleep and quite possibly the quality of your sleep may silently orchestrate a symphony of hormonal activity tied to your appetite.
While doctors have long known that many hormones are affected by sleep, it wasn’t until recently that appetite entered the picture. What brought it into focus was research on the hormones leptin and ghrelin. Doctors say that both can influence our appetite. And studies show that production of both may be influenced by how much or how little we sleep.
So, this is kind of a rhetorical question but… have you ever had a sleepless night followed by a day when no matter what you ate you never felt full or satisfied? Well, that’s the workings of leptin and ghrelin. And I can attest to that today!! I didn’t get home from Wichita Falls until midnight and then got up to coach at 4am. I have been FAMISHED like I haven’t been in ages today!! I usually get seven to eight hours of sleep!
See, leptin and ghrelin work in a kind of “checks and balances” system to control feelings of hunger and fullness. Ghrelin, which is produced in the gastrointestinal tract, stimulates appetite, while leptin, produced in fat cells, sends a signal to the brain when you are full.
So what’s the connection to sleep? Well, when you don’t get enough sleep, it drives leptin levels down, which means you don’t feel as satisfied after you eat. Lack of sleep also causes ghrelin levels to rise, which means your appetite is stimulated, so you want more food.
So you’re not getting enough of one hormone to tell your body you are full and you are getting too much of the other hormone telling your body you are hungry – double-whammy!!!
And with that written, I think I am going to hit the sack and get nine hours in tonight!!