When we don’t get enough sleep, we’re sluggish the next day. We might even make poor choices or have slower responses to basic questions.
One of the most noticeable effects of poor sleep is how we satisfy our hunger.
Instead of reaching for protein-rich, long-term energy foods, we’re reaching for high-fat, high-carb foods. The brain wants energy, and it knows how to get a quick fix.
When you don’t get enough sleep, you can’t reach your ideal weight, even with a full home gym. Here’s a look at why that is and how you can switch things up to catch more zzz’s and get to a healthy weight.
UNDERSTANDING SLEEPY BRAINS
Sleepy brains have a dulled frontal lobe – that’s the part of the brain that handles your decisions. It also handles emotions, mood, and self-control. For example, “Can I hold back on that extra slice of blueberry pie?”
When your brain runs on less sleep, it can’t find the strength to say no to treats. You might have trouble controlling portion sizes because your brain’s reward center jumps into overdrive, pushing you to eat more of those unhealthy but delicious snacks.
BRAINS AND METABOLISM
Your metabolic rate keeps moving as you sleep, only dropping by about 15% at most. Most of that energy usage happens in your brain, and natural chemicals like human growth hormone and cortisol rise and fall with sleep cycles.
A sleep-deprived brain tells your adrenal glands to release extra cortisol surges in the evening. This stress hormone surge then tells your body to store energy. More stored energy means you hold on to more fat.
Along with causing cortisol spikes, a lack of sleep throws your appetite hormones out of wack. Ghrelin is the hunger hormone and leptin is the fullness hormone. According to the Mayo Clinic, poor sleep ends up increasing ghrelin and decreasing leptin, so you feel hungry more often and never feel full. More hunger means more calories consumed.
Finally, poor sleep means you’re more likely to become glucose intolerant because your body isn’t as good at absorbing carbs. This is another way that your body holds on to fat. Too much sugar left in the blood can lead to your pancreas ramping up insulin. According to the CDC, all this insulin can make your cells stop responding, and that’s when you get insulin resistance and excess fat storage. It can also lead to diabetes.
SLEEP AND EXERCISE
Not getting enough sleep does more than affect metabolism. It also leads to less energy, less motivation, and less awareness, so you’re more likely to give up on fitness goals or injure yourself with half-hearted attempts on the treadmill or rower, or when using kettlebells or dumbbells. We know this is not the path toward healthy weight loss.
To get better sleep, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that you try to get consistent with your bedtime, exercise regularly, cut out late-night snacking, turn off the electronics, and make your room as dark as possible.
At G&G Fitness Equipment, we’re passionate about getting you moving. Healthy days mean healthy nights, and that leads to great years ahead. Reach out to us for advice on the best equipment for your home gym needs.