More and more people these days are suffering from insomnia. There are several reasons people do not get adequate sleep.
You stay awake until late at night watching TV, preparing for your examination or attending parties. You are a die-hard workaholic or remain under constant stress due to the nature of your work or problems and cannot get the sleep that your body requires.
As you remain awake for whatever reason, you tend to eat more frequently. TV watchers do nothing except that they sit on the couch and watch the programs on the screen. They keep themselves physically busy eating usually fried potato chips and other junk food. This is how the couch potatoes keep vegetating and also growing in size. Some people eat to kill the boredom or fight the stress.
Those who sleep late also wake up late and then, they rush out of their house for their workplaces. They do not get sufficient time to take proper breakfast or do any physical exercise.
It has been found from a study that people who get an average sleep of six hours per night are 27% more susceptible to gaining weight than those who sleep for 8 hours or more. Similarly, those who get an average sleep only for five hours are 73% more prone to obesity than those who get a normal sleep.
It has also been established that higher levels of sleep prevent the accumulation of excessive fat.
According to an expert, boys tend to gain more fat because of stress and inadequate sleep than girls because the later can handle their stress more efficiently than boys. This is one of the reasons why more teenage boys are fatter than the girls.
It is quite clear from the above observations that you tend to gain more weight if you sleep less than your body requires. To put it in another way, you do not become fat if you get adequate sleep, if all other factors remain normal.
If you do not get sufficient sleep and rest your body and brain, you feel tired all the time and do not take physical exercises to control the growth of flesh.
Loss of sleep also adversely affects the appetite regulating hormones called leptin and ghrelin. While leptin retards the appetite, ghrelin boosts it. It has been found that people who sleep less have lower amount of leptin and higher amount of ghrelin.
It has been established through research that those sleep five hours only have 15% more ghrelin than eight hour sleepers.
These are the broad observations and like every rule, there are some interesting exceptions to them.
Dr. Neil Stanley of the British Sleep Society says that Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, the former Prime Minister of Britain used to sleep only four hours a day. So did Hitler and Napoleon . They were all strong persons, but none of them was fat. Sir Winston Churchill, who would get a nap of two hours in the afternoon and did not sleep at night, had a corpulent body.
Renowned ancient Indian Yogis would get in just a few minutes’ sleep all the energy that could be derived from an eight hour long sleep. The practice was called Yog Nidra – Yogic Sleep. It is also said that Napoleon Bonaparte could refresh himself by getting a few winks of sleep while riding his horse on the battle field.
This is not to deny that these people were extraordinary by any standards. They were made up of different clay than ordinary mortals.
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