Feeling Tired? Are You Puting On Weight?

The dreaded lack of sleep, lifes treadmill just seems to be running to fast, how can we slow down, take our foot off the pedal and relax to really make the most of our sleep and recovery time?images

A lack of sleep might not just be leaving you tired, it’s almost certain that it’ll be lowering your auto-immune response and, therefore, making you more susceptible to illness but could it also be making you fat too!

It’s a 24-hr society these days, plenty of us work shifts or are brought out of bed to tend to children or, simply, everyday stressors can keep us lying wide-awake; it might even be self-inflicted from just watching too much TV?

If this is you then, believe it or not, the latest thought as to what’s causing ‘around 60% of British adults [to be] overweight or obese’ (figure cited from the Daily Mail) is a lack of sleep.

A series of studies conducted at the Heartlands Hospital, Birmingham, have looked at what happens to our weight and metabolism with varying amounts of sleep and concluded that: ‘people sleeping for significantly less than 7hrs per night often end up obese’. Further still, those grabbing 4hrs or less are 73% more likely to gain weight – it is considered that limited sleep leaves the relative insomniac with cravings that can account for up to 900 calories-a-day (almost half the average daily amount again).

In those sleeping only for around 4hrs-a-night, laboratory tests have shown that brain function is affected, along with a lowering of metabolism and and increase in food cravings; type-2 diabetes and obesity have been shown to be more prevalent in those with little sleep.

Ironically enough, much of our lack of sleep is blamed on a snoring partner and a snoring partner is much more likely to be overweight than a thinner one, especially a fitter one.

Though the snorer could be from either sex, it is estimated that 45% of men snore in comparison to 30% of women. Snoring can be caused by a variety of reasons; as I’m sure most of us are aware, drinking heavily can be a cause (even in the fitter person!); poor muscle tone in the throat and tongue can lead to them collapsing back and partially blocking the airway, I don’t know any specific strengthening exercises for that I’m afraid; but, most significantly, being overweight can cause the extra weight of the neck to fall back and block the airway.

Snoring not only disturbs our own and our partners sleep but due to the drop of blood oxygen levels due to the restricted airway it can force our blood pressure to rise and, over time, this can make us more susceptible to heart-attack – bizarre but true.

However, there are few studies suggesting missing out on an hour a night will predispose you to weight-gain or diabetes but night-after-night of missed sleep will increase your fatigue and your training will undoubtedly suffer. Focus will be less and the body’s ability to cope with the usual demands of a workout will be too; this could cause poor judgements and result in strains or injury. At best you won’t be getting the full benefits of a training session; or of recovery.

So its time to sort out those sleep patterns and really get the most form your training and get the results you really want! Good luck gtting in those all important ZZZZ’s!


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