You are becoming FAT due to lack of sleep

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Less than seven hours of shut-eye a night could mean you are more likely to reach for snacks and become obese.

We all know that too little activity and too much food leads to weight gain but this is not the end of the story.

Too little sleep can also be at the root of many a weight problem.

There is a strong link between getting enough sleep and keeping off the pounds.

This may sound odd, given that you obviously burn fewer calories when asleep, but having studied more than 18,000 adults, researchers discovered people who were having less than seven hours’ sleep a night had an increased risk of obesity, compared with people getting more than seven hours each night.

One reason for this is because sleep deprivation appears to lower the level of leptin in your body, a protein that suppresses appetite.

It also increases levels of the hormone ghrelin, which makes you want to eat more. Obviously, the key is to get sufficient sleep to balance your appetite hormones.

But if you do wake up tired, the chances are you will have a massive urge to tuck into instant energy fixes such as sugary cereals, white toast with loads of marmalade, Danish pastries or croissants to get you going.

Forewarned is forearmed. Make yourself have scrambled eggs instead.

They take a few minutes to make on the hob or in the microwave. Otherwise, try them poached or boiled.

Eggs have a particular type of protein that helps to overcome the hunger hormones and make you feel full right through until lunchtime.

Alternatively dodge the quick sugar fixes by having Weetabix, Oatibix, sugar-free muesli or porridge instead.

All release energy slowly and gradually, helping you to deal with sleep-induced hunger and stop endless trips to the biscuit tin.

Check out our top tips to stop sleep making you fat.

1. GET on top of “social jet lag”. Learning to live with, rather than against, your body clock takes effort and planning.

It may mean making a conscious effort to turn the television off earlier than usual.

It could mean scheduling a nightly cut-off time by which you will be in bed, reorganising your social life so that you have at least one or two nights in each week or planning your day differently so that you are not still rushing around last thing at night.

Jot down things in your life that are triggering social jet lag and try to put some right.

2. Try chamomile tea before bed. It’s an old trick but an effective one. Chamomile tea contains supernutrients that act on the same areas of our brains as anti-anxiety drugs, helping us to calm down and prepare ourselves to relax into sleep.

A small mug before bedtime is well worth a try.

3. Have rice for dinner. Research showed people fell asleep more easily when they ate a meal of quickly digested rice four hours before bedtime.

This effect may be down to the rice helping to boost serotonin, a relaxing and sleep-inducing hormone.

A meal based on white bread or a bowl of cornflakes could have a similar effect.

4. Avoid caffeine up to eight hours before bedtime. It can take up to eight hours for some people to totally metabolise caffeine and get it out of their bodies.

Try having your last cup of tea mid-afternoon and switch to alternatives such as decaffeinated tea and coffee, herbal or rooibos teas.

5. With alcohol, while a drink can help you to fall asleep, unfortunately it then disrupts the really beneficial “restorative” sleep later in the night so it is best to avoid alcohol before bed. If you do have an evening-time drink, try to keep it to just one unit’s worth. – The Sun UK