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Want to Avoid Gaining Weight? Get Good Sleep
First and foremost, if you
want to avoid gaining weight, you need to have a holistic approach to do the
obvious things. Things like having a healthy diet, exercising regularly,
managing stress, avoiding sugary drinks, alcohol, and getting the recommended
hours of sleep.
of Inadequate Sleep
However, getting the
recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep may be a challenge for some, if not many. In fact, not able to get
the recommended hours of sleep can be attributed to factors such as:
1. Having to work late, or
having a shift job, or even, regrettably, loss of a job
2. Busy schedules –
stretched thin doing more things than you can manage
3. Sleeping disorders like
4. Or, waking up frequently
during the night
5. Drinking caffeinated
beverages later in the day or even before sleep
7. Watching television late
into the night
8. Lifestyle that stretches
late into the night
9. Not getting enough
Regrettably, these factors
become barriers to getting those recommended hours of sleep. On the other hand,
one may ask, why should shortchanging sleep be bad. In fact, as explained
below, shortchanging sleep frequently will cause you to put on pounds.
First and foremost, the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is made up of receptor sites, known as
CB1 and CB2, located on cell membranes. Moreover, these ECS receptors are
present in almost every organ of the human body. For example, CB1 receptors are
found in the brain and throughout the nervous system. While, CB2 receptors are
found in the immune system.
endocannabinoids are lipids (also referred to as fatty acids) that can modulate
or affect changes. And, these endocannabinoids bind mainly to the CB1 and CB2
receptors in the brain. As a result, they help modulate memory, mood, appetite,
studies suggest that endocannabinoids are under control of the circadian
rhythm. By the way, the circadian rhythm is the natural process that regulates
your sleep-wake cycle, repeating itself about every 24 hours. Therefore, under
control of the circadian rhythm, these endocannabinoids promote phases of sleep
known as Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, as well as Non-REM (NREM) sleep.
Sleep Deprivation Effects Endocannabinoids
studies show that sleep deprivation results in higher and more persistent
levels of the endocannabinoid, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Moreover, the
endocannabinoid 2-AG significantly increases the pleasure of eating, especially
eating sweet or salty high-fat foods.
relevant, sleep deprivation has the same effect on eating as marijuana. In
fact, both activate the endocannabinoid system. Incidentally, by morning, the
levels of endocannabinoid 2-AG in well rested volunteers rose. On the other
hand, levels of endocannabinoid 2-AG in the sleep deprived were nearly 33%
higher when compared to the levels of endocannabinoid 2-AG in the well-rested
addition, levels of the endocannabinoid 2-AG in the well-rested peaked around
12:30 PM. However, levels of the endocannabinoid 2-AG in the sleep deprived,
when compared with the well-rested, peaked 90 minutes later at 2 PM and
remained elevated until about 9 PM. As a result, the sleep deprived found
pleasure by eating sweet and/or salty high-fat foods. Which, in turn, caused
them to put on weight.
the meantime, researchers at the University of Chicago found that sleep
deprivation effected the endocannabinoid system, resulting in desire for food.
Normally, for the well-rested, blood levels of endocannabinoid 2-AG are low
overnight and rise during the day peaking in the early afternoon. However, when
you are sleep deprived, endocannabinoid 2-AG levels rise higher and remained high
through the evening and beyond the typical peak at around 12:30 PM in the
afternoon. During that period, the study found, that the sleep deprived have a
strong desire to eat. So, they ate twice as much fatty foods as compared with
those who slept 8 hours.
another study reported that each added hour of wakefulness burned about 17
extra calories. Consequently, 4 hours of lost sleep burned about 70 calories.
However, by eating snacks the sleep deprived took in over 300 extra calories.
the same time, as expected in the sleep deprived, levels of hormone ghrelin
were high while levels of hormone leptin were low. And both these levels caused
the sleep deprived to seek and eat fatty foods.
that it’s shown how sleep deprivation results in weight gain, what can you do
about it. Regrettably, there may not be obvious or doable remedies for some of
the causes of sleep deprivation. For example, sleep deprivation because of work
related issues are hard to deal with.
However, others can be managed.
example, it may happen that there are times when you just have a hard time
sleeping. In those instances, there are several things you can do to help you try to get
to sleep. In fact, they range from cutting back on caffeine consumption after 2
PM to redoing the bedroom so that it promotes sleep. By the way, one of the
methods to help you sleep is to exercise your legs. Most of all, when you
exercise your legs, more blood flows to them and away from the brain. However,
that late in the night, exercising may be the last thing you may want to do.
And, in those situations you can lie down on the floor and let a machine move your legs. One of the benefits you get is that it may just
help you sleep.
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