Nowadays, people are continuously surrounded by the constant noise of technology. We’re always in front of our screens. While it may be fun and convenient, it’s also a detriment to our health. We stay up all night on our tablets and phones in bed, and when we finally decide to try and fall asleep, we can’t because our bodies are riled up thanks to the light of the screens. This may be a habit you want to kick, as researchers have found that inadequate sleep increases the risk of obesity through its effects on metabolism.
The researchers, Dr. Christian Benedict from Uppsala University and his colleagues, did a number of human studies that measured sleep deprived individual’s responses to food. They found that “metabolically healthy, sleep-deprived human subjects prefer larger food portions, seek more calories, exhibit signs of increased food-related impulsivity, experience more pleasure from food, and expend less energy.”
Inadequate sleep messes with the bodies hormones, essentially shifting the balance between hormones that promote fullness and those that promote hunger. When you’re tired, your body increases production of hormones that increase your appetite. This could explain those cravings you have throughout the day.
How sleep loss can lead to weight gain
It’s not hard to believe that sleep loss can lead to weight gain. With that said, here are several reasons why sleep loss has this effect on the body.
1) You eat more when you’re tired
As Dr. Benedict’s study has shown, sleep-deprived people seek out larger portions with higher calories. This is presumably to make up for the energy that a healthy night’s sleep would have provided the body.
2) You stay up later, allowing yourself more time to snack
Nothing beats the satisfaction of enjoying a late-night snack while browsing the internet at night. However, late-night snacking—especially if you’re already in bed—is detrimental to the body and can cause huge weight gains.
If you eat and then immediately go to bed, your body isn’t getting the opportunity to work off any of those excess calories. Not to mention that most people’s snacks include high fat, high sugar foods.
3) You are less physically active
When you’re tired, the last thing you want to do is exercise. Tired people tend to be more sedentary throughout the day, which gives the body ample time to soak in all of the excess calories that you consume to give yourself energy.
You have no motivation. You may realize that the behaviors you’re engaging in are destructive and are probably going to lead in an increasing waistline, but tired people have a hard time snapping themselves out of the low-activity, high consumption trend.