40% of Malaysians get just six hours of sleep or fewer per night and research found that missing out on sleep can also lead to weight gain. People who sleep less than 7 hours per night are heavier, gain more weight over time, and have a harder time losing weight!
“I think poor sleep is a contributing factor to weight gain. When you have poor sleep or lack of sleep, you’re setting a whole cascade of events in motion hormonally that could set you up for weight gain.” according to John M. Jakicic, director of the Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh.
1. Throw Out the Night Light
Exposure to light at night doesn’t just interrupt your chances of a great night’s sleep, it may also result in weight gain according to a new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Study subjects who slept in the darkest rooms were 21 percent less likely to be obese than those sleeping in the lightest rooms.
2. Stay away from your mobile phone and Ipad
More electronics we bring into the bedroom, the fatter we get—especially among children. Researchers found that students with access to one electronic device were 1.47 times as likely to be overweight as kids with no devices in the bedroom. That increased to 2.57 times for kids with three devices. Leave your iPad in the living room.
3. Stops Late-Night Snacking
The longer you’re awake, the more likely you are to consume calories you don’t need, which can cause you to gain up to five kg a week, according to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. Over the course of seven days, they found that sleep-restricted subjects sleeping late gained more weight than their well-rested counterparts sleeping early, mostly because they ate 550 calories from while they are awake, a time that the other group spent in bed asleep.
4. Boosts Fat Loss
Even if you eat the exact same diet as your friend, if you’re not getting the sleep your body needs, you won’t drop as much fat as them. A recent study from the University of Chicago compared the weight-loss results from sleeping eight and a half hours per night versus only five and a half hours per night. In both conditions, people ate the same number of calories (about 1,450 calories per day). While both groups lost about six and a half pounds, more than half of that weight was fat for well-rested people, compared to only a quarter for tired participants.
5. Set Your Sleeping Priority
Right now, sleep just isn’t a priority in your life. You might say it’s a priority, but priorities are about what you do, not what you say. If you’re staying up to watch TV, then TV is a higher priority than sleep. Set a bedtime. Count back 8-9 hours from when you have to wake up: that’s your bedtime. Write it in your calendar if you have to, and set an alarm on whatever electronic device you typically use in the evening.
Successful, long-term weight loss means finding a sleep schedule that makes you feel energized and ready to take on the day. Sleep deprivation can seriously throw off your behavior patterns and your body’s response to food, sabotaging your weight-loss efforts in several different ways. The solution to sleep deprivation depends on the cause, but you owe it to yourself to figure out what it is for you and how to address it.