Weight control may be related to a few things. Some people make an effort to lose weight because cutting down will mean being healthier and free from disease and there are some people who work hard on controlling their weight to be able to look good and feel good about themselves.

Regardless of what the purpose is, it will be important for you to understand your body and to know the answer to you our problem – why are you gaining weight?

People gain weight because of different reasons and one of the reasons being lack of sleep has been related to weight gain in many occasions.

  • When you deprive yourself of sleep your brain is more motivated to eat especially when presented with high calorie and fatty foods. They have spent hours awake and “working” that when they awake to cram in calories in an effort get needed energy for restoration.
  • When a person lacks sleep and they are fed with more food than extra, they tend to respond strongly to junk food and they are found to keep taking food in without feeling satiated.
  • When one is feeling sleepy, he is most likely to have cravings, usually in an effort to feel energized. He will decide to have a cup of coffee and he will get a piece of donut or two, and more.
  • When one is tired, it is easier for him to make a decision to eat unhealthy foods. Unfortunately, one will also be most likely to gain a few pounds from this, so weight gain can be expected.
  • You can liken lack of sleep to being in debt on your credit card – the more credit you have, the more trouble you are in because interest rates rise.

The Science of Sleep

People are encouraged to have as much as eight hours of sleep a night and when one has less than eight hours of sleep, this person is usually found to be eating more the next day.

When the person lacks sleep, there is an expected decrease in the activity of the frontal cortex where rational decision are made; and unknown to many, the relationship of weight loss and hunger is very strong. As a matter of fact, many of the people who are overweight are found to be very sleep deprived. This may all be related to the increase in the release of the hormone cortisol when the body is stressed. Cortisol, the known hormone for appetite increases and the body becomes less sensitive to insulin.

Related to insulin, you can also count the hormones Ghrelin and Leptin -which are the two most important hormones for weight gain because Ghrelin tells the body to eat and Leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating. It is said that there is an increase in the levels of Ghrelin when a person lacks sleep, so explaining the increase in appetite.

Finally, Adenosine is another chemical that may be discussed with this. It is the by product that collects in the brain and promotes sleepiness. Caffeine suppresses adenosine so that you do not feel sleepy; when a person does not get enough sleep, Adenosine collects and disrupts the function of the brain – and only sleep can properly reboot it. A person ideally has about 16 hours to function before crashing; you go beyond this, you will automatically reboot.

The Truth

Now do not be mistaken: lacking sleep may be related to weight gain but getting enough sleep does not directly translate to weight loss. What you focus on here is the fact that lack of sleep will make your efforts to lose weight so much harder to achieve.