Sleep deprivation has been connected to weight increase and belly obesity. Insufficient sleep can cause belly weight gain due to several factors:
Hunger and satiety hormones are regulated by sleep. Insufficient sleep can affect ghrelin and leptin levels. Leptin indicates fullness, while ghrelin promotes appetite.
Insufficient sleep may lead to greater calorie intake, especially from snacks and high-carb, high-fat foods. Overeating and desiring sugary or processed snacks at night can lead to weight gain.
Sleep deprivation can impair decision-making and impulse control, resulting in unhealthy dietary choices. Energy-dense, tasty foods may be preferred, which are heavy in calories and cause weight gain.
Poor sleep affects glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. High blood sugar levels due to insulin insensitivity may cause excess calories to be stored as fat, especially in the abdomen.
Circadian rhythm regulates metabolism and other physiological activities. Insufficient or inconsistent sleep can disturb circadian rhythms, causing weight gain and metabolic inefficiency.
Insufficient sleep can raise stress and lower mood. Stress and weariness can cause emotional eating, which generally involves eating high-calorie comfort foods that cause weight gain, especially in the abdomen.
Weight gain is multifaceted, and poor sleep is just one reason. Healthy sleep habits like a consistent sleep schedule, a comfortable sleep environment, and good sleep hygiene can improve health and weight management.