Are Late Nights Making You Fat?
“Sleep Early!” is a common refrain when we receive healthcare advice, but why? Why do people say that getting ample sleep can help to combat cosmetic problems like dull skin, dark eye rings, and even pigmentation? And can sleeping late really pack on the pounds? Looking at the current evidence, it certainly seems likely!
LACK OF SLEEP LEADS TO SLOWER METABOLISM
Our body slows down at night, turning inward instead of outwards in order to repair itself after the stresses of the day. The repair of our liver occurs at 1am to 3am, which means that our last meal of the day should ideally have been digested by then.
A late meal disturbs the natural peak of our organs’ repair time, diverting the regeneration process to deal with digesting food. When the liver should be gearing up to repair itself in the wee hours of the night – it is instead digesting food that’s entering the body. This kickstarts a series of signals involving the entire digestive system – the intestines, the liver, the pancreas, the gallbladder … The result?
Tired organs don’t function as well, which eventually leads to a slower metabolism.
Imagine a car that’s been racing day and night, with no time for servicing – its engines will break down sooner, and it will no longer be able to race at its optimum speed.
Losing and maintaining weight is all about metabolism – the intake of food (energy) should be equal or lesser than our output so as to prevent weight gain. People with a high metabolism can eat a lot, but they won’t put on weight as their energy stores are being depleted fast enough to prevent their food being stored as fat.
LATE SLEEPERS EAT MORE
Researchers have found that poor sleep affects endocannabinoid (eCB) levels –chemical signals that affect appetite and the brain’s reward system. A study revealed that late sleepers tended to snack more between meals and had a tendency to opt for unhealthier snacks. Pair this with the slower metabolism of the sleep-deprived, and you’ve got a game plan for weight gain.
To add to the problem, we’re likely to feel hungry the longer we stay awake. As a result, late sleepers are also more likely to snack at night. If this includes indulging in heavy late night suppers or reaching for sugary fatty foods at a time when our bodies are least active, more of the calories ingested will be stored as fat. Studies have shown that participants who slept for five hours each night gained 2 pounds in weight over a week. These participants consumed more calories in their after dinner snacks than in any other meal!
So the moral of the story is to sleep early! For chronic late-sleepers who can’t kick the habit – regular exercise and watching your food intake will help to reduce the likelihood of weight gain. If you need help in kickstarting your metabolism, you can consider using a metabolism-boosting product like the No-Stop Slim Body Care Range on problem areas to prevent fat accumulation, or go for a few rounds of No-Stop Slim or Lipomassage to boost metabolism and prevent water retention.