By Shefali Jha Last Updated:
Hitting the gym – check, eating the right food – check, weight loss smoothies – check, losing weight - not really? You have been doing everything under the sun to get back into that perfect shape and are still unable to achieve your weight loss goal; chances are God has finally answered your prayers.
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Now not just healthy food and burning calories in the gym is to be checked, studies have revealed that even your sleep pattern might have a crucial role to play in helping you achieve your ideal weight. So, read on to know in detail what we exactly mean to say!
Have you ever wondered why is that you crave for some of the most sinful food items only when the night starts getting darker? Why is it that perfect slice of pizza becomes more tempting after the clock strikes 12 AM? Why is that you feel the sudden urge to have that thick, hot chocolate; without which you might not make it to another night?
If you have been thinking it’s just the weather and your food palate, you are quite wrong. Your body releases two hormones – Leptin and Ghrelin – both equally opposite in their functions. While Leptin prevents hunger pangs, your ‘enemy’ Ghrelin induces food cravings. And the lack of sleep makes fat cells secrete more of Ghrelin which joins hands with stress hormones Cortisol to drift you far, far away from your fitness journey.
If your boyfriend complains of you wanting doughnuts more than wanting him; honey, it’s certainly the right time for you to change your sleep pattern. Deprived sleep and sugar cravings have always been the best of friends.
The less proper sleep you get, the more will be the intensity of your sugar cravings. And we can all vouch for the fact how such sugar intake can prove out to be deadlier than accidentally breaking your iPhone.
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Now, this does not really need any genius to figure it out. Your body keeps burning those unwanted calories throughout the day. While walking, talking, reading and even while you sleep. So, the better your sleep, the more regulated would be your calories burnt and the lesser you sleep, the fewer would be the amount of the calories burnt by the body.
It’s not just you who turns out to be less productive at work after a night of improper sleep, your metabolism too fails to deliver its best. Disturbed, sparse sleep takes a hit on your body’s ability to use up insulin. And in the scarcity of the normal insulin level in your body, the fat cells come together to enjoy a hearty kitty party within your body.
How would you feel if after an early morning shift, right when you were planning to head home and enjoy some quality time your boss asked you to drag yourself back for the night shift too?? Dreary, exhausted, miffed and annoyed. Right? The exact same way, when you burn yourself out at the gym and then work throughout the day, your mind and body wait for you to enjoy a good-night sleep.
It is during this time that the wear and tear of the muscles and ligaments which happen throughout the day is taken care of. Your body goes into a holistic mode while you sleep. It burns calories, repairs your muscles, induces growth hormones, helps tone muscles and last but not the least, relaxes your core. Hence, to stay in shape you must never forget that a peaceful sleep is as important for your body and mind as is retail therapy during sales.
Lack of proper sleep also takes a toll on you psychologically. Studies have observed that people who enjoy proper sleep and rest, have a more alert and focused mind. And thus, they tend to control their portion sizes in comparison to those who don’t get enough sleep.
It has also been seen that people who sleep well don’t generally indulge in emotional food shopping. Whereas those who don’t hit the bed at the right time, pamper their mood by buying any and every food item they can practically lay their hands on.
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So, the next time you decide to scroll through your Facebook notifications or catch one more episode of ‘Stranger Things’ one last time before you sleep-off, try and remember these points.