Sleep deprivation and weight loss
The link between sleep deprivation and weight loss has been known and scientifically established for many years, but now a new study from the University of Berkley California shows a new link on how sleep deprivation adds to weight gain or thwarts weight loss attempts.
Past studies showed that not enough sleep influences blood glucose levels in the body and can also lead to insulin resistance which can ultimately lead to weight gain as well as serious diseases like cancer, diabetes and obesity.
In our article on “sleep to lose weight” we explored the link between how many hours of sleep a night the control group had versus how much weight was either gained or lost. The study found that women who slept less than 5 hours a night were more likely to gain weight and also had a greater chance of becoming obese.
Sleep deprivation and cravings for junk food.
The researchers at Berkley studied the decision making capabilities of 23 young adults using MRI technology (pictures of the brain). They took a picture of the brain after a good nights sleep and then after a bad nights sleep and compared the two images.
They found that after a bad nights sleep the frontal lobe – the part of the brain which is responsible for complex decision making – was impaired by lack of sleep. They also found that deeper centers of the brain – the ones responsible for the response to rewards – was more active. This had the effect that subject who had had a bad nights sleep chose jun foods over healthier food choices.
The study concluded:
“high-calorie foods also became significantly more desirable when participants were sleep-deprived. This combination of altered brain activity and decision-making may help explain why people who sleep less also tend to be overweight or obese.”
Sleep deprivation – supporting yourself in your dieting efforts
With so many studies on sleep deprivation and the adverse health consequences of sleep deprivation, its time we paid more attention to getting proper rest. But that doesn’t mean reaching for the nearest sleeping pill.
Studies have shown that natural herbs can be as effective at ensuring a good nights rest, and the added advantage of herbs is that they often do not have the same side effects as the drugs available out there.
There are the herbs that can aid with getting a good nights rest and avoiding sleep deprivation:
1. Chamomile tea – Studies have shown that a cup of chamomile tea before bedtime can improve the quality and quantity of sleep you get. To read about the benefits of chamomile, read the article “Chamomile tea benefits”
2. Lavender – Lavender has also been shown to aid in sleeping disorders. The scent activates parts of the brain which aid in sleep and rest. Read about the lavender oil benefits or how to make lavender bath bombs to help you get a good nights rest.
For more information on how to use fat busting foods to help you get enough rest and boost your weight loss you can download our fat busting foods guide which contains tips, recipes and ideas on over 30 different fat busting foods.