How Sleep Deprivation can make you Fat, Grumpy and Wrinkly
I don't know about you but the hour we lost at the weekend really threw me. I'm all for lighter evenings (daylight = more time for golf) but I spent most of Sunday grumpy and hungry.
I've spent a lot of time this week researching for articles. Now maybe it's the fact that it's April tomorrow; or that my skin has been starved of vitamin D for six months; or that my soul is holiday deprived (roll on skiing in 10 days); but I can't open a magazine without reading about sleep deprivation!
In Red this month, I've been reading about a study from the University of Birmingham, which has revealed an interesting link between insufficient sleep and our appetite balancing hormones. The scientists found that just two days of two to three hours less than optimum sleep can result in 15% more ghrelin (the hormone that makes you hungry) and 15% less leptin (the one that makes you feel full). If you've ever had a sleep deprived night followed by a day of insatiable appetite, that's those pesky hormones at play! Apparently an average of seven hours a night for us girlies is best (more if you train hard or indeed are a man).
Even worse news comes from a recent study by the National Sleep Foundation (www.sleepfoundation.org) which found that over a five year period, people who averaged less than five hours sleep a night (ugh) gained more abdominal fat (the really unhealthy stuff) than those who slept for more than six hours a night.
And what about those wrinkles? Well it's official, according to Dr Mehmet Oz, writing in this month's Glamour magazine, when you skimp on your zzz's your body produces less human growth hormone (HGH). HGH is responsible for tissue and muscle repair and for keeping you youthful. Perhaps that's why it's called beauty sleep.
But there is some good news for all of us who take regular exercise. According to www.the-fitness-motivator.com, people who exercise regularly are much more likely to have longer spells of deep sleep and it's during this time that the body releases that fabulous (and naturally occurring) HGH.
So what are you waiting for? You are going in to a deeeep deeeep sleeeep ..... zzzzzzzzzzzzz