Could Sleep Deprivation Be Causing Your Weight Excess?

Ideally, you should be getting 7 to 8 hours of good quality sleep most nights of the week. Sleep is critically important regarding our weight. Research shows that people who are sleep deprived consume more calories and tend to be more overweight. Lack of sleep causes hormonal dysregulation in the pituitary gland and the adrenal glands. Sleep deprivation causes fatigue which increases cravings for foods high in energy such as sugar.

It is recognized that adequate and deep sleep is essential to chemically detoxify your brain. This was shown by research done by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). We need sleep for many reasons and one of the most important is that it cleans up the brain. This is one reason why helping your body to eliminate toxins at night during sleep is a good idea.

Things that may help you to sleep better include:

  • Going to bed by 10 pm and turning all the lights off.
  • Taking the natural sleep hormone melatonin in a dose of 2 to 10 mg on retiring will help you fall off to sleep quicker. Shift workers often have problems producing adequate melatonin. Shift workers are more likely to be overweight.
  • Taking a good quality magnesium supplement every day. If you struggle with being able to get to sleep and/or stay asleep, magnesium often gives a big improvement because it relaxes your muscles and nervous system. Magnesium also helps your brain produce the neurotransmitter GABA, which quietens down internal chatter.
  • Avoid excess alcohol, sugar, and stimulants at night to facilitate the brain cleansing process.

Plenty of research has been done showing that people who don’t sleep enough have higher levels of hunger hormones in their body and are more likely to overeat or eat unhealthy foods. It is so much easier to prepare healthy meals, exercise regularly and generally look after yourself when you have had enough sleep and it has been good, deep, and refreshing sleep.

Reference: Xie et al “Sleep initiated fluid flux drives metabolite clearance from the adult brain.” Science, October 18, 2013. DOI: 10.1126/science.1241224