Sleep Deprivation and Weight Gain: What Is the Relationship


At first glance, what could be the relationship between chronic sleep deprivation and the level of subcutaneous fat in the body? It turns out to be the most direct.

People who don’t get enough sleep at night are 30% more likely to be obese. So even if you can try this online casino at 2 am, it’s better to postpone it until the next day to avoid this problem. Why is this the case? Let’s find out.

The Influence of Hormones on Body Fat Levels

For all metabolic processes in our body the hormonal system is responsible. A large number of hormones control the metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbs.

There are many hormones, which influence fat metabolism:

  • Thyroid hormones.
  • Insulin.
  • Estradiol (which, by the way, is also synthesized in men).

But we’ll look at the ones that are closely related to both fat levels and nighttime sleep.

Testosterone and Somatotropin

Testosterone is the male sex hormone. Everyone has heard about its importance in the muscle growth process.

This hormone has an anabolic effect and “gives the command” to start muscle synthesis.

However, testosterone may also have fat-burning properties. This is one of the main reasons why men have lower natural levels of subcutaneous fat than women. After all, girls also produce testosterone in their bodies, but in much smaller amounts.

A large number of factors can affect testosterone levels in the body. Some of the main ones are the duration and quality of night sleep.

According to scientific research, there are several releases of testosterone into the bloodstream during nighttime sleep. Its peak during the day falls on sleep in the morning hours (about 5-6 hours).

Chronic lack of sleep or frequent awakening at night (shallow, shallow sleep) negatively affect testosterone production in the direction of its reduction.

You already know what happens when the level of testosterone in the body becomes lower.

The situation is similar with another hormone, which is important for a man – somatotropin, the growth hormone.

It also has many different functions. One of them is the effect on fat metabolism. The growth hormone also has strong fat burning properties.

By the way, this is one of the main reasons why professional bodybuilders like to inject artificial “hormones”.

During the period of gaining muscle mass, somatotropin injections allow one to build up “dry” mass without accumulating subcutaneous fat.

During the period of terrain training, the use of growth hormone among pros is a mandatory condition.

As in the case of testosterone, a decrease in the duration and quality of night sleep causes a failure in somatotropin production.

Lower production of growth hormone means faster rates of subcutaneous fat accumulation.

But that’s half the trouble. A decrease in natural levels of anabolic hormones caused by sleep deprivation slows down the rate of muscle growth.

An acute lack of sleep triggers the process of catabolism, i.e. the burning of muscle tissue.

As a result, a chronically sleep-deprived person’s body composition changes far from the best. The amount of fat becomes more and the amount of muscle becomes less.

Ghrelin and Leptin

Ghrelin and leptin are two other hormones that work in close correlation.

Ghrelin is responsible for the feeling of hunger. That is, it tells our brain that we are hungry and it is urgent to eat. A clear correlation between sleep duration and ghrelin levels has already been proven.

Restricting sleep to 4.5-5 hours a night increases ghrelin levels in the blood by 28%.

This means that the less we sleep, the more and more often the brain receives signals of hunger, which makes a person eat more often and more.

But that’s not all. Another hormone, leptin, is responsible for the feeling of satiety. In other words, the higher the leptin levels in the body, the less we want to eat.

As you have already guessed, disruption of nighttime sleep negatively affects the production of leptin. Its level in the body decreases by about 18%.

People with chronic sleep deficiency have an increased sense of hunger and a decreased sense of satiety. As a result, the person eats more often and the portions are larger.

Even if you strictly control your appetite and do not increase the total daily caloric intake, it is still difficult to avoid accumulating more fat.

The fact is that when you don’t get enough sleep at night, your gustatory needs change.

People who don’t get enough sleep subconsciously try to compensate for the lack of energy by consuming more carbs. They mostly crave sweets and flour.

If you suddenly began to consume more simple carbohydrates, it is possible that it is a banal lack of sleep.

It is natural that disruption of the regime of rest leads to disruption of the regime of food intake. Evening or even night snacks have become the norm.

From about 16-17 hours, the metabolism begins to slow down – the body prepares for a night’s rest.

If you eat a lot of carbohydrates in the evening, the energy gained won’t have time to be spent. As a result, its excess energy can be deposited in fat reserves.

How Much to Sleep for Better Results in the Gym

It’s recommended for adults to sleep at least 7-9 hours at night. However, it’s worth understanding that these are average figures, and individual deviations up or down are possible.

A more accurate criterion of proper sleep duration is self awakening without an alarm clock, a feeling of vigor and a feeling of a fully rested body.

If for some reason, you don’t manage to sleep well at night, as an option, you can give yourself a short nap during the day.

In this case, 20-40 minutes is enough to “recharge the batteries”.

It is not advisable to sleep for more than an hour, since this may disrupt nighttime sleep patterns and negatively affect the production of hormones.

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