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Weight Gain & Sleep Deprivation Connection

Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

How Sleep Impacts Weight

a) Sleep deprivation may be connected to triggering hunger hormones like liptin and ghrelin. Liptin has been associated with ghrelin in stimulating appetite.

b) Rest plays a major part in healing and repairing the body AND when the body isn't 100%, it just won't function at 100%.

c) Daily nutrition is a factor when more hours of active time are in the equation and more food is eaten, the end result is a bigger number on the weight scales.  

d) The longer an individual is awake, the more opportunity for eating. This is simply common sense.

While weight gain is balanced by the body, we tend to think of our lives in 'days'. Therefore, what we eat on a particular day or within a twenty-four hour period is often assumed to be calculated by the body, determining what we weigh on a given day.

Body's Set Point

However, the body has a balance point - a 'set point' where our weight is involved. If you weigh often, you'll note that you weigh about the same day-in and day-out. Even if you have pounds to lose, you'll weigh about the same every day.

It is highly unlikely that overweight individuals - as well as the general population calculates their daily caloric intake on a regular basis. But oddly enough, the body is able to balance all the energy consumed until it notes a significant up-tick. When we over-eat, the balance is tripped and registered on the scales as weight gain.

Wake Time Increase, Appetite Increase Effect

When our wake times increase, appetite increases - and our food intake for a particular day also increases - more likely than not. Thus the risk for weight gain associated with wake time due to our 'set point' being shaken.

Health Studies On Weight Gain

Several studies have been performed regarding sleep deprivation and weight gain. For a conducted study to have merit, these bullet points should be considered when reading data results.

a) What were the ages of the human guinea pigs who gained weight during the study?

b) Were the subjects day or night sleepers?

c) Were the gain-ees diabetes/heart/thyroid/menopausal free?

d) What time of year was the study conducted?

Cooler temperatures kick in instinct, triggering the body to add a few pounds during the colder months as a built-in survivor factor. Cooler temperatures requires more energy (calories).

Or could the sleeping pattern lend a false positive that winter is coming, thus triggering the body to store fat for potentially sparse times ahead?  

e) Did all the subjects surrender to hunger? If not, did those who didn't still put on weight?

f) Why were these individuals getting limited hours of sleep each night? Could that reason have been the overweight factor rather than simple lack of sleep?  

g) Did weight gain ensue because the test subjects were awake a longer time during the day than normal?

And finally, in one ongoing sleep study, researchers are working to find ways that will allow people to stay awake with very little sleep while feeling rested - as if they've clocked those important eight to nine hours of sleep each day.

Based on the sleep study, this may put a twist on why we need to experience sleep in more 'weighs' than one....

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