Yesterday I didn’t post. I came home from work and fell asleep. I didn’t wake until my daughter woke me to say, “Aren’t you going to make dinner?” I did wake, made a quick Boboli pizza with low-fat cheese, and went back to sleep. I didn’t get my exercise in, but neither did I snack through the evening the way I frequently do. One advantage to sleeping is that you can’t be eating while you are asleep.
A quick check on the Internet actually supports this. According to what I am reading, there is “substantial medical evidence suggests some fascinating links between sleep and weight.” (WebMD) Apparently lack of sleep, or even lack of quality sleep, can cause you to gain weight. This makes sooo much sense to me. I thought it was just that being tired led to making poor decisions, but there seems to be more to it than that. Sleep loss can make you feel hungry when you aren’t. I’ve seen that when I pull all-nighters. I always find I get up and need to eat whenever I work through the night, and mornings where I’ve had less than a few hours sleep I crave fats and proteins (usually causing me to drive to the nearest fast-food breakfast drive-through. More than that, sleep loss actually interferes with the body’s ability to metabolize carbohydrates, which causes an increase in fat storage. (WebMD)
There also seems to be a correlation between sleep apnea and being overweight. I’m in the process of getting a sleep-study for my daughter because she is having problems sleeping. As I’ve mentioned before, she also has the same weight issues I do. My sister warned me that the doctors might tell us that her sleeping problems are caused by being overweight, but actually the doctor told me the opposite: Many of her weight problems are caused by not being able to sleep properly. Now I think I should get myself checked out as well.
I don’t know how much it will help, but I would love to wake up and not feel tired, to get a full night’s sleep on a regular basis, and to feel rested. Plus I really like the idea of sleeping off the extra pounds.
Here are a few more resources on the topic:
- Does Losing Sleep Mean Gaining Weight (ABC News)
- Lose Weight While You Sleep (Glamour Magazine)
- 10 Reasons You’re not Losing Weight (About.com)