Sleep interferes in many ways with the way our bodies process food. We know that sleeping right after (or too soon after) a meal will make you store more calories as fat since you are not actively consuming those. How about late mornings? Does sleeping late result in more fat around your belly?
Your body is in the fasting mode – what does it mean?
Sleep slows down bodily processes, including digestion. The longer you sleep, the more your body deepens this state. As you are not getting any food during these rest hours, the metabolism slows down considerably. Even when you wake up, the effect is still there, until you have breakfast to trigger your metabolism once again. This is the reason why people who skip the first meal of the day tend to get fat or fail to lose weight, without knowing why. They’re still in fasting mode. Sleeping late means more hours with a slow metabolic rate for you. However, the weight gain also depends on when you had dinner (or late night snack perhaps).
How late at night do you eat?
You had food and went to bed shortly after? First of all, when you are eating late at night, your body is not ‘awake’ enough to process it accordingly. Once it gets into sleep mode, digestion slows down considerably; plus, calories aren’t being used for energy production since you are at rest and not moving at all. You can easily guess what happens from here: your fat layer thickens. It’s best to eat at least 2 hours prior to going to sleep, in order to give your body a chance to digest properly and to consume some of the energy you provided via food. Also, you should not delay your meals, but have them at the same time with normal sleepers (breakfast between 8 and 9 am and dinner no later than 8 pm should be ideal).
Thus, sleeping late isn’t necessarily making you fat. It’s eating late AND sleeping late that does it. Besides, you can easily get into a rut, as people who wake up late usually go to bed very late, too. You may have heard that too little sleep causes weight gain but the opposite is not going to make you slimmer. Going for too many hours of rest has its own series of effects that may work against your fitness goals.
Your fitness pal