There might be no significant improvement in the numbers on your weighing scale. That is despite being on a strict meal plan to regulate your calorie intake and being on the treadmill at four in the morning sweating your heart out. Then perhaps, you might be doing something wrong.
However, before you render exercise and diet ineffective, you might want to look into the hours of sleep you’re getting. Not getting some shut-eye can prevent you from achieving your #bodygoals.
What exactly happens to your body when you constantly skimp on sleep?
How Sleep Affects Appetite
Depriving yourself with a goodnight’s sleep can lead to weight gain. How is that possible? Lack of sleep throws off your endogenous cannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system plays a crucial role in regulating different functions in your body, including your appetite.
Just like the effect of cannabinoids found in marijuana, these naturally-occurring endocannabinoids in your body are in charge of revving up your appetite. When you’re sleep-deprived, your endocannabinoid system cannot function properly.
CB1 and CB2 are the two kinds of endocannabinoids that can be found in various organs of your body. The endocannabinoids in charge of your appetite can be found in the central nervous system. When you feel cravings, the endocannabinoids communicate signals to your brain, specifically to your hypothalamus. The hypothalamus then sends the message to your limbic system, which is in charge of motivating you to put something in your mouth.
When you don’t get enough rest, the endocannabinoid system will not be able to regulate your appetite and your satiety. Since it cannot send the right signals to your brain, it can lead to an uncontrolled intake of food and an increased frequency of eating. That is not helpful in your quest to lose weight.
Aside from that, an impaired endocannabinoid system can affect the secretion of two hormones responsible for weight regulation. These hormones are crucial components in your body, like folding and gluing equipment to packaging production.
What Revs Up Cravings?
Ghrelin and leptin are hormones that regulate your appetite. Ghrelin is a hunger-inducing chemical, while leptin is an appetite-repressing hormone.
Your endocannabinoid system aids in the production of ghrelin, which triggers your craving and makes eating more pleasurable. When you finish your meal, it then sends signals to your leptin that you’re full and that it’s time to put down your spoon and fork.
However, when you don’t get enough shut-eye, these hormones will be thrown out of whack. With an increased level of ghrelin and miscommunication with your leptin, you’ll get caught in a vicious cycle of binge-eating. You’ll continuously feel bouts of hunger in the middle of the night and won’t be easily satiated.
That’s why pulling an all-nighter can suddenly make you want to stuff donuts in your mouth. Sleep deprivation does not only affect your concentration and energy levels but also influences your self-control and satiety levels as well.
Loss of Self-Control
Shedding a few pounds is so much more difficult when you can’t control your cravings. When you’re physically exhausted, you tend to eat excessive amounts of sugary and high-carb food.
All those cardio won’t mean a thing when you end up scarfing down mom’s freshly baked cookies at the end of a long day. Without enough energy and optimal cognitive function, it would be difficult for you to resist temptation.
Studies show that sleep deprivation leads to increased body mass index and can even lead to obesity.
Since your mind is impaired from all those nights of two-hour sleep, your body’s operations are not adequately sustained and regulated.
The Effect on Muscle Strength
When your body does not receive the sufficient amount of energy it needs to function as well the nutrition it needs to operate, your body will be overcome by stress and fatigue. If you want to achieve a healthy and fit physique, being riddled with exhaustion will not get you there.
Your body will find it challenging to perform intense full-body workouts without enough rest. According to research, you don’t achieve maximal muscle strength without proper sleep. Since you cannot exert the full force that your body needs during training, you won’t be able to yield the desired results after all those Pilates and core exercises.
Moreover, when your body is tired from all those sleepless nights, you can’t muster the right amount of motivation to perform your daily workout. You might be subscribed to a ketogenic diet, but without proper exercise, you wouldn’t fully attain your desired weight.
With enough rest, you will have the mental strength to resist the delicious munchies in your pantry and the physical endurance to perform those 50 crunches every day. Indeed, securing seven to nine hours of sleep every day is crucial in your quest to achieve a fit and healthy body.