Does an Afternoon Nap Make You Fat?

Body weight depends on a multitude of factors, and, as you might imagine, both lifestyle and genetics play critical roles. However, many people are afraid to take an afternoon nap, because it is considered as a trigger weight gain. But the question arises, does a really quick afternoon nap make people fat?

This assumption is related to the habits of people who take a nap after lunch. There is a myth that taking a nap after lunch will accumulate the fat into your body.

But it turns out, that so far investigators have not found an association of obesity with napping. What is clear is that long midday sleep habit makes stagnant, causing calories to burn a little.

Our sleep habits may influence weight gain. Getting too little sleep — under 5 hours per night — or too much — more than 8 hours per night — consistently correlated with weight gain in people younger than 40 over a five-year period. If you’re falling asleep right after eating because you’re so very tired due to sleep deprivation, it may be your poor sleep habits leading to weight gain, rather than the pattern of eating and then sleeping.

Getting too little sleep may actually affect your hormones, particularly those that directly affect appetite. When you don’t sleep enough, your body increases production of Ghrelin, which makes you feel hungry, and decreases output of Leptin, which helps control feelings of fullness. If you’re chronically tired, you may be eating more overall — not just before you fall asleep.

Staying Up Late and Eating Late

Habitually staying up late, eating and then going to sleep until late in the morning can put you at greater risk of weight gain. It’s not the pattern of eating and then sleeping that leads to weight gain, but the increased calories and food choices that individuals who maintain this pattern keep. On average, the people who stay up late and sleep late consume 248 more calories daily, twice as much fast food, more soda and fewer fruits and vegetables than people with earlier bed times.

Sleep Less, Crave More

This is probably the biggest revelation about the connection between sleep and weight loss—and the biggest challenge for you if you’re not getting at least 7 solid hours of sleep each night. Sleeping too little impacts your hormone levels in ways that can undermine the efforts of even the most determined dieter. That’s because insufficient sleep raises the levels of ghrelin, the hormone that tells you to eat. When it comes to weight gain and loss, this hormone plays a leading role.

Nap for 30-45 Minutes in the Afternoon

A 30-45 minutes afternoon nap can be useful as it will hinder the building of stress hormones. It will also increase productivity of work in the other part of the day. Most people with late shifts are required to take a short afternoon nap to avoid accidents or mishaps at work at night.

Manage Your Weight

Eating before sleeping won’t cause weight gain unless you couple it with poor eating habits. Having a salad before a nap will create a very different outcome than having a bag of chips before bed. Don’t stress if you work late, then eat a portion-controlled meal full of lean protein, vegetables and whole grains and fall into bed just a few minutes later. But, if working late causes you to stop at the local burger joint because you’re too tired to cook, and then you fall asleep immediately, it could have weight repercussions.

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