Is It True That Sleep Helps You Lose Weight?

Is It True That Sleep Helps You Lose Weight?
Is It True That Sleep Helps You Lose Weight?

Video: Is It True That Sleep Helps You Lose Weight?

Video: 5 Reasons Why Sleep Helps You Lose Weight 2022, November

Maria Anikanova, neurologist, top LJ blogger


According to American researchers, the number of obese people has approximately doubled from 1960 to the present day. At the same time, over the past half century, the average duration of an adult's sleep has decreased by an hour, or even one and a half.

We all know that being overweight is a problem that can be associated with heredity, unbalanced, overweight diet and a sedentary lifestyle. However, there are other reasons that receive much less attention. They are not discussed by the media, you will not hear about them in advertising. Because these reasons do not represent any potential commercial benefit.

It is easy to convince a woman of normal physique that she is too fat, and then sell her anti-cellulite cream, slimming underwear and slimming tea. Much attention is paid to nutrition, because you can sell the "right" food, drinks and dietary supplements with great profit - just have time to turn on your imagination, what else would such a representative of the fair sex eat or drink for harmony.

The fitness industry is not lagging behind: if a hundred years ago regular walks in the fresh air were considered sufficient physical activity, today cardio exercises are recognized as not a very effective strategy for long-term harmony: they say, the energy consumption from them is small, muscles do not grow, and the appetite rises considerably. More and more fitness trainers say that power loads are much more useful, because the more muscle mass, the more energy consumption. And if a slender girl with a "skinny fat" physique must strictly limit herself to sweets in order to maintain a certain weight, the average athlete can afford a couple of donuts without thinking about their calorie content, simply because his muscles will "eat" everything. Under this folding ideology, subscriptions for various types of intense, and sometimes traumatic, power loads are excellently sold.

If you look at this slimming orgy from the point of view of modern standards of beauty, there is nothing to object. Many are obsessed with achieving the ideal, and the recommendations of the World Health Organization against this background look somehow pale for fanatics. True, WHO does not say a word about how to make yourself a fit figure. But he reports that 150 minutes of aerobic exercise will increase health and help reduce the risks of some serious diseases. It's not bad if two workouts a week are strength training. However, who is interested in the recommendations of the WHO, when another weight loss challenge takes place on Instagram and a big sum of money and a silicone breast are declared as a prize?

And yet, if we digress a little from the general hysteria on the topic “you need to eat less and train until bloody boys in your eyes”, interesting facts emerge:

One of them is that we sleep too little and therefore gain weight.

Researchers provide compelling evidence that not getting enough sleep or getting enough sleep can trigger weight gain. And if everything is clear with the first: we simply do not sleep enough due to the fact that life is accelerating the pace, and it becomes more and more difficult to manage to be a good parent, spouse, professional and just a person, then the second reason requires an explanation. It's all about melatonin, a wonderful sleep hormone that is produced mostly in the brain and has a number of effects. It helps the body to recover, according to some reports, it has a positive effect on memory, attention, mood and carbohydrate metabolism.This means that a lack of melatonin can lead to weight gain in the long term.

At first glance, the connection between lack of sleep and extra pounds looks paradoxical. Is it really necessary to spend more time relaxed under a warm blanket in order to get a dream figure? It all sounds somehow doubtful, especially in light of the latest cannibalistic tendencies "move until you drop" and "train three times a day, and leave the weaklings to sleep."

Nevertheless, the research results showed that young people with a normal body mass index, with a forced shift in the circadian rhythm, there was an increase in the level of insulin and blood sugar after meals, a decrease in the level of leptin (which is responsible for the feeling of satiety) and an increase in the level of the "stress hormone" cortisol., especially before going to bed and immediately after waking up. All this increased the risks of the subjects to get sick not only from obesity, but also diabetes mellitus, as well as to get a stroke or heart attack.

The causes of obesity are not as obvious as we used to think. This idea is suggested by the assumptions of researchers about the connection between uncontrolled use of gadgets, a shift in biorhythms and a violation of melatonin production. Perhaps obesity was the result of more than just a passion for fast food and a variety of interesting TV shows that are so cozy to watch with pizza on the couch. Of certain importance are the "breakdowns" of the biological clock of the body, which easily arise against the background of the insane rhythm of life with strong and prolonged stresses. Found a link between obesity and depression, obesity and sleep deficit. This was confirmed by a meta-analysis of 45 studies. The result was the following conclusions: a 1 hour reduction in daily sleep duration causes a significant increase in body mass index. Sleep less than 6 hours a night was associated with a risk of weight gain and waist circumference during the first year of sleep deprivation.

It has also been shown to decrease thyroid function in the presence of regular sleep deficit. Thyroid hormones have a fat burning effect. If they are not enough, the weight can grow. Patients say that they "eat almost nothing," and the kilograms seem to come from nowhere. Often this problem is accompanied by decreased mood, weakness and a constant desire to sleep. A decrease in the level of thyroid hormones against the background of a lack of sleep is rarely critical, and, most likely, the indicators will be somewhere in the lower limit of the norm. Therefore, the reasons for feeling unwell even after visiting an endocrinologist are often unclear. And modern man is not taught to correct chronic sleep deficit - there are too many things to do, too little respect for their own needs. Although sleep is exactly what should be influenced in the first place.

Studies have shown that acute sleep deprivation reduces levels of another important hormone, growth hormone. It is well known to bodybuilders: they quickly remember that during a night's sleep, muscle mass grows and fat is burned. And this happens thanks to somatotropin - normally it is released at once in a sufficiently high concentration during a night's sleep. Acute insomnia or deliberate sleep deprivation gives the body an immediate signal to store fat.

According to some reports, about 35% of adults sleep less than 7 hours a day. Most adolescents and children also have sleep problems.

What does all of this mean?

Alas, sleep is not the only component of a healthy lifestyle, and you will have to consistently and gradually abandon bad habits, replacing them with useful ones.

At the same time, it is important to understand that obesity is not as obvious in its origin as it is commonly believed. Sometimes depression is the cause of obesity. And as long as they say to a person: “Get it together, rag!”, “Count calories” and “Stop being so lazy,” there will be no effect. Sometimes obesity leads to depression.And the root cause is a violation of biorhythms, chronic stress, decreased thyroid function. Sometimes a person begins to systematically eat fast food not because he is an idiot and lazy, but because this is the only strategy available to him to overcome stress.

Sometimes sleep disturbance leads to changes in brain cells at the molecular level. As a result, there is a gradual and imperceptible gain of extra pounds. And here's the bad luck - traumatic sports and a low-carb strict diet only worsen mood, well-being, sleep, "lead" to an anxiety disorder and worsen the quality of life.

Obesity has many causes. Not all of us are known. Causal relationships, which we used to consider indisputable, turn out to be not so unambiguous in practice. What science knows for sure is not to go to war with your body. You need to negotiate with him. It must be protected. Diet and fitness before bloody blisters can only have a short-term effect. If you want a long-term result, you will have to take into account many factors and completely rethink your lifestyle.

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