If you’re trying to lose weight, the amount of sleep you get may be just as important as your diet and exercise.
Unfortunately, many people aren’t getting enough sleep. In fact, about 30% of adults are sleeping fewer than six hours most nights, according to a study of US adults.
However, interestingly, increasing evidence shows that sleep may be the missing factor for many people who are struggling to lose weight.
Today Obesity is not just an epidemic of the western countries, but is rapidly increasing in India. Obesity is defined as Consumption- Expenditure Mismatch (i.e., excess intake of calories than the expenditure).
To control Obesity, lot of factors are responsible and talked about like physical Activity, metabolism etc, but it has been found that Sleep also impacts the weight and inadequate sleep (duration and Disturbed) can lead to weight gain. Sleep ‘is a restorative process of the brain, by the brain, and for the brain’, and is important for health of the entire body. Numerous studies have suggested that restricted sleep and poor sleep quality may lead to metabolic disorders, weight gain, and an increased risk of obesity and other chronic health conditions, said Ms Deepti Khatuja Assistant manager Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics Fortis Memorial Research Institute.
Sleep is an important modulator of neuroendocrine function and glucose metabolism. Sleep loss has been shown to result in metabolic and endocrine alterations. Inadequate Sleep increases the levels of ghrelin (promotes hunger), and decreases the levels of leptin (that promotes feeling full), thus leading to increased hunger and appetite. Poor sleep is associated with increased oxidative stress, glucose (blood sugar) intolerance (a precursor to diabetes), and insulin resistance. Cortisol hormone is released when individual is under stress and stimulates insulin release to maintain blood glucose levels in “fight – or – flight response.” This results in increased appetite. Also, studies have shown that lack of sleep results in increased late-night snacking and increased cravings for energy-dense, high-carbohydrate foods.
Behavioral sleep curtailment is becoming endemic in modern times. In societies with more evening and night-time work and leisure activities, results in major impact on sleep time, duration of dark exposure, and overall organization of circadian rhythms through the exposure to artificial light after sunset and often before sunrise, resulting in later bedtimes, reduced total sleep time, and the opportunity to be active and ingest food during the natural night. Delayed feeding due to prolonged night-time wakefulness leads to desynchrony between central circadian and peripheral clocks.
Hence proper and adequate sleep is not just important for the mental well being but also is very important for physical well being. Hence lifestyle changes not just include factors like proper diet, physical Activity or stress management but also include adequate sleep.