Lack of Sleep Can Cause Weight Gain.

17 Dec

One of the more profound ways lack of sleep promotes weight gain is by influencing the hormones that control both hunger and satiety.  For instance, chronic sleep deprivation raises levels of the stress hormone cortisol.  Cortisol tells the body it needs more energy to meet the demands of stress, which causes an increase of hunger and cravings.

Lack of sleep also increases grehlin, a hormone that promotes hunger and fat storage.  Sleep deprivation also decreases leptin, the satiety hormone that tells you when you’ve had enough to eat.  So in a double whammy, lack of sleep both increases hunger and inhibits the ability to feel full.  The result is a natural inclination to eat more and more frequently.

Unfortunately, weight gain due to sleep deprivation doesn’t only happen slowly over time.  Just a few nights of sleep deprivation can pack on pounds.  Sleep deprivation makes fat cells less sensitive to insulin, the hormone that ushers glucose into cells so they can produce energy.  In effect, it makes a person more insulin resistant, which is a stepping-stone to obesity and diabetes.

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