Is Going to Bed Late/Not Sleeping Well Causing Me to Gain Weight?

man sleeping

Everyone needs a good night’s rest after a long day at work, school, or just from any of your daily routines. Losing sleep can be a bad thing for many reasons, and weight gain is one of them. Science shows that the average adult needs around seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep to be able to function as normal as possible. Any drop in the number of hours can lead to a list of problems that go from short term to long term damage to your body. Here is a list of things that specifically deal with why losing sleep or not sleeping well can lead to you gaining on more weight:

Your Hormones Are Going Crazy

When your body is at rest when you are sleeping, it is not only a sign that you have switched off for the night. As a matter of fact, there are a number of things that happen when you are unconscious. One major thing is that your body releases and reduces particular hormones as you sleep in order to keep your body in balance for another day’s labor. Not getting enough sleep or none at all can lead this process to go haywire, making you feel stressed and dizzy the next morning.

You Might Grab Another Bite to Eat

bowl of ice cream

Many studies have proven that the longer you stay up, the more you are likely to put on more weight as you are likely to reach for a quick bite to eat. For example, if you have to stay up late to finish an assignment, or are having problems falling asleep, you are most likely to head down to the kitchen for a midnight snack. 

In addition, eating late meals or snacks late at night can keep you up for longer as your body’s biological clock is set back and will leave your whole body disoriented. 

You Are Stressing Out Your Body 

Your body naturally slows down at night in anticipation to rest and recuperate after an entire day of work and play. When you take in food or extra work at night, you are driving your body to work harder and longer than it usually does. For pulling an all-nighter, you need at least a week to recover the number of hours of rest you lost in one night. That is how essential sleep is for the human body to function.  

Should I go to the Gym While Sleep Deprived?

sleep deprived

Exercising at the gym or any form of exercise for that matter is a part of a routine for many people. While losing sleep or having insomnia can be a struggle for as many people, there is a link between going to the gym and sleep deprivation that you should be aware of:

What Happens to Your Body

Sticking to your usual exercise routine at the gym is important for sure. Skipping a day or two can lead to physical setbacks as your body becomes used to need the stretches and lunges to keep the entire body up and running smoothly. But when you are running on a low sleep tank, it can lead to some repercussions that might be even worse.

If you have missed a couple of hours of extra sleep that you are used to, there are no long-term negative effects if you hit the gym afterward. As long as you have had at least six hours of regular night sleep and do not feel dizzy or light-headed the morning after, you can go on as usual. But just to be on the safe side, you can reduce the amount of energy you would normally need to exert in your regular gym session. You can do this by sticking to slow running or cycling and cardio workouts. Stay away from any of the heavy lifting, and make sure that you do exercise for no longer than half an hour at a stretch for a maximum of two hours. 

When you lose sleep, your body chemicals become imbalanced. It can be corrected by making sure that you are extra careful in making sure that you stay hydrated during the gym sessions. Take in a lot of water and stay away from energy drinks and high sugar intake as it can do further damage to your body’s natural sleeping pattern.   

In the case that you lose an entire night’s worth of sleep, it is best that you skip the gym session for the day and stay home. This is because you run the risk of injuring yourself physically as well as mentally, as your body is strained from lack of rest, and your stress levels are high up.

woman sleeping with dog

Try to Get More Sleep You can use your gym sessions to help you get more sleep if you time it right. Make sure that you do not exercise just before you sleep as it can make you more awake than drowsy. Make sure that you take it slow the next day if you really want to hit the gym. Pace yourself and then afterward lead your body into natural tiredness and then sleep.

Lose Weight by Taking Small Steps

lose weight tape measureA lot of people get to the point where they are about to give up on losing weight. They have all tried exercising and dieting, but it just hasn’t worked. They end up getting discouraged and want to give up because they are afraid they won’t be able to lose weight.

The best advice to give them is to just slow down and take a deep breath.

Most people in today’s society are looking for that instant gratification. Everything we want, we want it now. Whether it’s microwaving food to get it in minutes, or our cell phones taking more than 5 seconds to send a text message, we want things now. This is the reason we want our weight loss to be instant just like an instant microwaveable meal.

When we try to change our life quickly, the odds aren’t in our favor. We will get back into unhealthy habits because we didn’t lose a pound or two. Studies have shown the best way to lose weight for good, is to make those small changes to our lifestyles.

Consider some of these tips to create a healthier life for yourself:

  1. Take the stairs whenever possible. Some days you won’t be able to make it to the gym just because life gets in the way. You can burn some extra calories just by taking the stairs that day instead of an elevator.
  2. Add an extra glass of water here and there to your diet. A lot of us simply don’t drink the water we need to stay healthy every day. Try to add 8 ounces of water sometime throughout your day. One glass with every meal will help a lot.
  3. Take the extra time to walk or ride a bike when running your errands. You save money and studies have shown spending time outside is great for your health.
  4. Make sure to get the right amount of sleep. Try going to bed 30 minutes before you normally do and gradually work your way to 6-8 hours of sleep every night. A full eight hours of sleep will do magic for your health. You will feel rejuvenated and it will help you recover from workouts as well.