It has been known for years that sleep is necessary for proper regeneration, good health and your shape. However, we live in times when every minute is precious, and this contributes to successful reduction of time devoted to sleep. Do you also plan to "sleep off later on"?. As it turns out, such decisions are not necessarily good for your health and body.
Sleep vs. problems with weight and body composition
As you may know, lack of sleep favours poor food choices. This leads to deregulation of mechanisms responsible for sensation of hunger and satiety, eventually leading to deterioration of body composition and increased number of centimetres around your waist. Results of a study presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in San Diego suggest that a loss of just 30 minutes of sleep a day is likely to have adverse effects on body weight and metabolism, and, what is worse, these changes are of long term nature. The study was conducted on 522 people and observations lasted for 12 months. The researchers estimated that for every 30 minutes of sleep deficit falling on weekdays, the risk of obesity increased by approximately 17%, and the risk of deterioration of insulin resistance increased by 39%.
Metabolic consequences of sleep deficit
Sleep deficit is a very frequent phenomenon in modern society, but only recently did we start to pay due attention to its metabolic consequences, such as the increase in insulin resistance. Avoidance of sleeping too little can be a simple way to prevent problems with body mass and reduce the risk of diseases such as diabetes. However, you should remember that a lifestyle changes, including increased time for nigh rest, ought to be connected with other aspects such as better eating habits and regular physical activity included in your weekly schedule.
Not only the length matters
For the sake of better health and shape you should take care of not only the length of your sleep, but also of its quality. What is especially bad for night regeneration is:
late night eating, especially of hard to digest and junk food, but also skipping of evening meal
hunger, which makes it difficult to fall asleep;
artificial light - TV, computer;
too high temperature in the bedroom, abuse of stimulus agents;
noises, animals in the bedroom, etc.
Length of sleep is a very personal matter but it is assumed that on average it should be about 7 hours.
To sum up
Good quality and long enought night rest makes it easier to work on your shape and helps to keep your metabolic condition on a high level. Even the smallest sleep deficit, for example 30 minutes, can significantly increase the risk of problems with weight, body composition and health. Therefore, do not shorten the time required for sleep - from the health perspective it is simply uneconomical and it is difficult to catch up on the neglected sleep later on.