How bad sleep may cause overweight

About the importance of sleep

One of the basic elements of InShape Lifestyle is to develop good sleep habits, since it is more difficult for the body to mobilize fat stores without sufficient and good quality sleep.

Are you not getting enough or good sleep? 

Well, the thing is, there can be a lot of reasons for this, but let’s start at the beginning: there are 4 pillars to good and restful sleep:

  1. Length – the average adult needs 7.5 hours of sleep. If you are an athlete, then not infrequently 8.5. There is a lot of research on this, and these numbers are generally true for everyone.
  2. Depth – basically indicates the quality of sleep as the structure of sleep looks. Our sleep is not one but several processes that cover the same brain function throughout sleep. We move in and out between different sleep phases, during which the brain performs different activities depending on depth, while different brain waves dominate.
  3. Continuity – is your sleep continuous or fragmented? It’s useless to be in bed for 10 hours if you only spend 7 hours actually sleeping, because you wake up all the time. In this case, you accumulate a serious sleep debt, which reduces your cognitive ability, decision-making, and even worsens the sensitivity of your cells to glucose, even after a few days.
  4. Regularity – this is mostly related to the circadian clock, i.e. whether you are able to go to bed and get up at roughly the same time every day of the week. Now you can say that in today’s fast-paced world, this is impossible. But remember, man’s internal clock didn’t evolve recently to promote our current lifestyle, but a little while ago when the sun was the primary regulator of your biological clock.

And what does sleep have to do with obesity?

In a small number of sleep deprivation experiments in healthy people, an association was found between sleep deprivation and abdominal obesity

By the end of week 2, those with sleep deprivation had increased their body weight by about 0.5 kg and had seen a significant increase in adipose tissue in the abdomen area, especially inside the abdomen (visceral fat)!

The study found that in addition to reduced sleep time, participants ate an average of 308 calories more per day than their controlled sleep peers, and this translated into a 0.5 kg weight gain also led to an increase in visceral adipose tissue of about 11% (7.8 cm2).

The study found that sleep deprivation alters the “pathway” of fat in the body, i.e. fat is placed in the wrong place.

In addition, it has been found that even if a short-term sleep disorder does not significantly increase body weight, sleep disturbance results in fat storage disorders and can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and unhealthy body composition (visceral fat mass).

Source: Sleep Deprivation Sends Fat to the Belly, Richard Mark Kirkner, March 28, 2022