Sleeping late, I have been guilty of this habit for a long time and true to my findings which you will read later down this article, I gained some weight even though I was having a normal 7 – 8 hours sleep.
I guess the cause of late night sleep among many young people is due to what we call “Social Jet Lag” caused by the heavy work or duties imposed on us by society at large.
Working late at night and spending too much time in front of the computer screen and going to bed late has greatly contributed in the failure to overcome obesity.
However, with proper orientation and planning we can work on our sleeping habit and lose weight.
Are you guilty of sleeping late at night, probably because of the effect of working late hours on your computer or watching late night movies till the early hours of the next day? If you are, you may be doing yourself more harm than good.
Why sleeping late aids in weight gain
As I was going through a journal on obesity sometime last year, I saw a research study conducted among two groups of people. The first group of people comprised of 28 adults who were Normal sleepers, and the other group is 23 adults who were late sleepers.
The Normal sleepers in the study were those who are already asleep by 12 Midnight, up by 7am, breakfast by 8am, lunch by 1pm, and dinner at 7pm.
The Late sleepers in the study were those asleep by 3.45am, up by 10.45am, breakfast at 12noon, lunch by 3pm and dinner by 8:30pm. They also ate late by 10:30pm.
These two groups of people wore a wrist device that monitors their sleeping habits and activity cycle over a period of 7 days.
Here is the result at the conclusion of the study.
•The late night sleepers consumed 250 more calories per day than the normal sleepers
•The late night sleepers consumed twice as much fast food, and less fruits and vegetables compared to the normal sleepers.
•The late night sleepers drank more soft drinks and alcohol
•The late night sleepers recorded a higher BMI (Body Mass Index), than the normal sleepers. That extra weight puts them at risk for health problems such as diabetes and heart diseases now and as they age.
How late is your bedtime?
A careful look at the study above shows that both the late night sleepers and the normal sleepers have equal seven hours of sleep, however, the late night sleepers ate more calorie rich foods than the normal sleepers.
From the study, it was found that the reason why the late night sleepers added more weight was not because of the hours slept, but because of unhealthy lifestyle pattern that late night activity creates.
When you stay awake late, you feel hungry, and when that happens chances is you may not have a healthy food to take and when you do, you are adding extra calories to the food you have already consumed during the day.
Secondly, naturally, the body has been programmed to rest or sleep during night periods, not to eat. At night, the body’s metabolism is at its lowest level of activity and fat burn is minimal, when food is supplied to the body, it tasks the body to digest, and most times, these foods are stored as fats as the body is in a rest period with lesser activity to help fat burning.
How to sleep early, sleep more and weigh less
Do you know that recent studies have discovered that weight loss and weight gain can be attributed to the amount of sleep one gets per day?
According to a research study conducted by Mayo Clinic professor of medicine and cardiovascular disease, Dr, Virend Sommers found that sleep is an important regulator of metabolism and energy expenditure.
In other words, when you are sleeping late, and when you are are sleep deprived, hormones that regulate metabolism and increase hunger are affected, which stimulates an increase in calorie consumption which results to weight gain.
Conversely, maintaining a healthy routine of sleeping early and getting an average 7-8 hours of sleep everyday helps regulate the body and decreases the desire to overeat.
So if you have been in the habit of sleeping late, you can start curbing that habit starting from today.
To help you sleep early and shed those extra kilograms of fat, the following suggestions have proved helpful to a lot of people.
• Switch off your TV set or turn off your computer once it is 10pm.
• Don’t consume any Tea that has caffeine before bedtime such as coffee or black tea (Teas like Lipton, etc).
• Do not take medication that will affect the quality of your sleep.
• If you have anything causing you worry or anxiety in your life, unburden your mind by confiding in someone and take a leisure walk to reduce the stress.
• Exercising regularly is something you should always do at least 3 times per week.
If you work on developing a healthy sleep pattern as outlined above, then be rest assured that your weight loss efforts as well as a healthier you will start paying off sooner than you think.