We usually associate people who sleep badly with being gaunt and skinny, but the common sleep and weight loss theory is actually a myth.
The reality is that people who sleep less than 8 hours per night are more likely to put on weight, and for those experiencing poor sleep over a long period of time, there is a considerable risk of becoming over weight.
Numerous research studies over the last 5 years have discovered that for those trying to lose weight, a good night’s sleep is an essential part of your diet plan. Research has uncovered a proven link between lack of sleep and weight gain.
One interesting study shows that lack of sleep imbalances leptin and ghrelin, two hormones responsible for the control of feeling hunger and fullness. Ghrelin is produced in the gastrointestinal tract and stimulates appetite, and leptin on the other hand tells the brain when you are full.
Lack of sleep causes these two hormones to become imbalanced and operate ineffectively. When you sleep badly leptin levels drop and ghrelin levels rise. Subsequently your appetite increases and you still feel hungry after you have eaten. So basically, without realising it, your lack of sleep is causing your BMI to rise.
It isn’t just losing a couple of hours here and there that will cause you to eat more, but also general sleep disruption. If you are someone who suffers from periodic waking then you are also at risk of leptin and ghrelin imbalance.