LACK of sleep will change hormone levels in the body. As sleep decreases, the body produces more cortisol, a natural hormone that regulates appetite.
When its levels increase we continue to feel hungry despite being full. Lack of sleep also causes levels of growth hormone to decline, which reduces muscle mass and strength, increases fat tissue and weakens the immune system Insulin, the hormone produced by the pancreas to transport glucose from the blood to the muscles and other tissues within the body, increases due to lack of sleep.
Because insulin causes sugars to be stored as fats, increased insulin makes weight control difficult.
When we are feeling tired we tend to crave refined carbohydrates like biscuits, crisps and pastries when energy level drop. As our blood sugar rises, energy returns, but the un-needed calories are converted to fat.
If we are feeling tired our bodies burn fewer calories because we lack the energy to exercise or work out intensely, therefore keeping storage of excess energy – in other words fat – making lack of sleep a double whammy.
It is essential that both our brain and our body get adequate rest in order to repair and regenerate whilst we sleep. According to the NSF (National Sleep Foundation) 63 per cent of men and 54 per cent of women suffer from lack of sleep a few nights every week.
FitFoxy Tips – Use Exercise to promote quality sleeping patterns
• Exercise either early morning or afternoon. Try to avoid exercising three hours before bedtime.
• Aim for at least 30 minutes vigorous aerobic activity every day.