Did you know that sleep deprivation affects the brain and body? There are a lot of “rules” to try and help control that impact, but there’s one aspect of your life that you might not realize is affecting your life, and that is the amount of sleep you’re getting on a regular basis.
The Center for Disease Control recommends that adults get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. However, more than a third of Americans do not get this.
Believe it or not, that lack of sleep can change the size of your body and cause you to crave different kinds of foods, it can even force you to crave carbs…one of the largest factors in weight gain.
Scientists have found that sleep deprivation can add more than an inch to your waist without making a single dietary change. Getting longer segments of sleep has been found to be associated with a lower body mass index number, and a more favorable metabolic profile in a 2017 study in PLOS One.
A Swedish study published in Obesity Society in 2013 found that those who are sleep deprived for just one night tended to buy both higher quantities and higher calorie foods.
Although eating “junk food,” satisfies emotional needs, we should all be aware of why we’re craving particular items. In this case, your body is trying to replace the energy it lacks from sleep deprivation, with useless calories.
You should definitely look into what is causing you to lose sleep at night.
If you are waking up with aches and pains, you might be sleeping on the wrong kind of mattress. Heavier people and those with back problems may prefer a firmer mattress, and lighter people who sleep on their sides may prefer a softer one.
You may also need to adjust the number and kind of pillows you’re sleeping on for the way you sleep or try some stretches.
If it’s anxiety keeping you up at night, try keeping a journal next to your bed and writing down what’s causing you to not be able to “wind down”.
Disorders like sleep apnea are especially common in people who struggle with their weight, which can create a vicious cycle. The more tired you are, the more you eat, and the more you eat the more you exacerbate the underlying condition causing your fatigue.
Fortunately, the most common treatment for sleep apnea is non-surgical, doesn’t require taking medication, and can start working instantly.
A good night’s sleep is one of the best things you can do for yourself, to live long and strong in a body you love!
Tuck Sleep is a community devoted to improving sleep hygiene, health and wellness through the creation and dissemination of comprehensive, unbiased, free web-based resources. Tuck has been featured on NPR, Lifehacker, Radiolab and is referenced by many colleges/universities and sleep organizations across the web.