Sleep and Weight Gain

Has anyone else noticed a correlation between their sleep and weight gain? As my body has become less in distress mode from a prolonged period of living on very little sleep, my metabolism has slowed to a snail's pace. Any one else experience anything similar?

Posted 31 Mar 2015 at 2:26 PM
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  • Sleepio Member

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    Thanks Cat. I was just thinking tonight of how much I missed my yoga class. It's just ridiculously expensive – $118 for a month unlimited or $98 for 10 classes so I haven't been going since I'm paying $108 for this Goldsfit class for a month. I don't make enough money to do both at the moment. I also realize I can get in shape by myself (can picture Rocky running up those steps) but right now I really need someone to push me so I'm hoping it will pay off. A dvd is a really great idea – I could still do my yoga that way on my own timetable. I'll look into the one you mentioned. Thank you :)

  • Sleepio Member

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    You might be surprised by the DVDS I mentioned. It's more like gentle exercise than yoga. Kundalini yoga is its own beast. I love it though. Sort I feel relaxed and energized by it at the same time. Hope you're stayingg cool where you are.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi gin-gin,

    I am so sorry to read of your frustrating weight gain! Since I had the pneumonia and needed antibiotics and corticosteroid inhalers and other meds I've noticed more tingling in places I don't have nerve damage, and every night I now have strong leg and foot cramps that wake me up every 30 to 60 minutes. So I did some research and discovered that my antibiotics and meds (which thankfully I no longer need) cause depletion in magnesium and potassium! So I've started taking magnesium supplements at bedtime and eating a banana every day, and for the past 5 nights now I've had no leg/foot cramps and the weird random tingling is much less, and I've lost a little weight without trying and also have more energy -- I was feeling quite weak and apathetic. I already take vitamin B12 for my pernicious anemia and nerve damage, but some people report feeling more energized from taking the methylcobalamin form of B12 (which also helps with neuropathy).

    Your story made me want to share … in case some of the medications you no longer need have had an effect on your electrolytes and minerals, like mine did.

    Also, have you tried wearing a loose-fitting sock (with the toe cut off) stuffed with soft material around your elbow to help keep it straighter than a 90 degree bend at night? The ulnar nerve is flattened in the ulnar groove by a bent elbow while sleeping and will tingle and go numb unless the arm is in a relatively straight position.

    Sweet dreams!
    Flick
    xoxo

  • Sleepio Member

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    Thanks Flick – I will try the sock trick tonight. Not a bad idea w/the magnesium and bananas either and that's easy enough to give a whirl. I have a vitamin b supplement I've been taking as well but I'm not sure how much it helps (I'm on the low side of normal according to my labs). Thanks for the suggestions :) I know I should do the MRI to see if the problem is coming from my neck (it's either there or in both elbows) but I've been so hesitant as it is really expensive and I'm a little unclear of what benefit this knowledge will actually be. The numbness is in both hands – it had been the pinky and finger next to it and lately, has been just the pinky and not quite as frequently (twice a night instead of about every half hour) so I'm hoping maybe it will continue to get better. Perhaps, wishful thinking and maybe I'm putting off the inevitable by not pursuing the MRI yet. At any rate, thanks so much! I'm glad you have more energy now and that the weird tingling is less and the cramps are gone. Sounds like you've been through quite a bit and so glad you are doing better :) Have a wonderful night. Sweet dreams back atchya'!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Since 9 got ill i have been on allsorts of meds and even a sleeping pill makes me hungry. I am getting massive by the day. I need help as im so very down but if i stop my meds i will end up in hospital. Sometimes i feel like ending it all. Dont know what to do anymore. Im eating myself to death it seems I cant even look at my body in the mirror anymore as im that big. pleaaseeeeeeeeeeeeeee help x

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Danboyx, I don't know anything about your illness, but it seems to me that the first thing you should do is go to your doctor who prescribed the meds, and ask if they are causing you to want to eat excessively. If you are awake in the night, it is very tempting to eat, just for something to do.
    I don't know what else to say except that I sympathise and hope you can find a way out of this distressing situation. Do post again and let us know how you are getting on. Best wishes, Lindos

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Danboy – I agree with Lindos. Medications can really mess with your metabolism and also make you feel insatiably hungry (some pills such as mirtazapine is prescribed for sleep/depression – but is also an off label appetite stimulant) – can you talk to your dr about alternatives and how you are feeling? – perhaps they would have an idea on how to adjust your medications or have some insight on various things you could try. If they don't – try another dr. Sometimes you need a second opinion. Surely, there is an answer to this and where you are now is only temporary. Don't give up!

    I recently signed up for Goldsfit (if you have a Golds gym by you) and they are really starting to whip me into shape. I haven't lost any weight yet but I feel better. Most of the class is cut 20 somethings and I'm 44, racing to keep up w/them, but it is a really awesome group of people and they make me feel good for just going and doing my best. It's a very positive, upbeat vibe. It took a good while for me to get the energy to go the gym though – when I started Sleepio there was no way I could handle the class I'm in now, so I started to incorporated a meditative yoga (dharma yoga which I highly recommend – it is great for the mind as well as the body) and gradually over what is now my 9th month got to this point – so don't feel like you have to do everything at once – I sure couldn't – but you WILL get there. As somebody told me recently – it's not about perfection but about progression.

    I don't know your particulars and the only medications I'm really familiar with are those prescribed for sleep – but as I said before – I'd recommend going to your dr and if need be a different dr and try to get something worked out with them on your medications so that you are feeling better – there might be a solution as easy as changing out comparable medications to make you feel better. You can get through this. Stay positive! You made a good decision by joining this site – that's a start. The first step on getting to where you want to go is not staying where you are. You made the first step – just keep on walking :) Things will get better!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Please check out an online yoga subscription. A friend of mine recommended YogaGlo. It is about $20 a month. You have access to thousands of classes and at least 30 teachers. Classes are available in different levels and styles. You can choose a class for 5 minutes or 90 minutes or somewhere in-between. You can try a free 2 week trial to see what you think. There are other sites, but I really liked this one and stuck with it. It is so much more convenient to be able to do the class whenever I want and not have to go to the gym. Also, I can learn new things that are not always available in books or the gym. I'm sure there are some free classes available online as well.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Danboyx,

    Please don't give up. You have to keep searching for the answers to help you get to where you want to go. I agree with the other posts that you should talk to other doctors. You may need mental and spiritual support through books, inspirational stories, counselor, doctor, support group, minister, or whatever you think might help you that you feel comfortable doing. You search out information on nutrition and diet, reading from various sources. You may want to see a dietitian. You may consider alternative medicine. You have to find what works for you. Learn about your medications. There are differences in opinions among professionals and laypeople.

    We are all on the journey to find what works for each of us individually. What may have worked in the past may not work today because we change.

    Body for Life is an old book that is inspiring with regard to transformations people have made in 12 weeks combining cardio and weight lifting. Some people do a few cycles of the 12 weeks. It is very high protein and uses supplements. I don't recommend this part because too much protein can be hard on the kidneys and can cause constipation and the supplements are not natural. I recommend the book to read the life stories of people who have overcome obstacles and changed their lives with weight training.

    I also like Covert Bailey's Fit or Fat. It is a really old book, but Bailey is very entertaining and motivating. The science in both books may be dated too much, but what I like in the latter book is that he just asks everyone to exercise 12 minutes a day. You start at whatever level you are at. Everyone can spare 12 minutes. I gained weight in college and Bailey's PBS special motivated me. I found that I needed to change my diet and start this 12 minutes consistently.

    I had been working out irregularly with dorm mates. I started working out solo first thing in the morning. 12 minutes became 15 became 30 became more. I became fitter than I'd ever been in my life. Now and then, I return to the 12 minutes to get started on my program when I've slipped off. By the way, I am also trying to lose weight now as I have put on and taken off pounds as well. Seems like many are dealing with this issue and if any one person knew what to do then everyone would do it. You have to keep trying to find what works for you at this point in time.

    Training for an event is very helpful too, especially if you do it with or for someone. I find that when I really get into exercise, I start working on other components of health as well.

    Also, yoga has been very helpful for me because it makes me be present and feels good. Granted, sometimes it hurts a little. Some people find yoga inaccessible. If you have never done it, you may want to do it in a class at first. If you want to learn about it at home, I really love YogaGlo videos. DDP Yoga is also inspiring. I don't use his program, but I like his story and also the story of Arthur Boorman. His yoga is for “regular guys.” Please check out their inspirational stories. Please see Arthur Boorman's youtube video. I first saw this on Shark Tank. Some people do not believe it is true, but I do.

    Best wishes.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Flick, Just wanted to thank you again for your suggestions. I finally made the appt for the MRI this coming Thursday and started steroids tonight. Things have been really rough the past week as the numbness has reached new intense levels (basically up all night w/it now) and I so hope they get better. It is the ulnar nerve – they are just unsure if it is due to an issue w/my elbows or neck so we are doing the MRI as the neck seems probable since it is in both hands. Hope things w/you are going better and that you are sleeping well. I'm hoping the steroids can give me some good rest tonight. Best wishes.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Sleeping, I will check it out :) Sorry for the late reply. It has been a rough week. Hope you are sleeping better and thanks so much for all your suggestions!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi gin-gin,

    I am so sorry that your numbness has worsened, but am glad that you will have a neck MRI to try and determine the cause!

    Are you typically a side sleeper or back sleeper? Sometimes if the bilateral ulnar nerves are increasingly irritated at night it is because the lower neck is in a less-than-optimal position … and this can at times be correlated to the age of your pillow! I find that when my neck gets “kinked” and the nerves in my arms worsen it's time to buy a new pillow, which can make a significant difference.

    I hope that in the interim, the steroids will help give you some relief. But when I've taken a 5-day taper I seem to get the best improvement toward the end of the taper so don't give up hope if you don't have immediate relief tonight!

    I'm doing better with my leg spasms, thank you -- bananas and magnesium have been very helpful! -- but now I need to get back to work on my sleep which has been sadly rather mixed.

    Hugs,
    Flick
    xoxo

  • Sleepio Member

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    HI Flick, So glad your leg spasms are better!! That's great on the bananas and magnesium – I'm so happy it is helping you :) I know how you feel w/the mixed sleep- I've got to get back on track as well.

    I'm typical a back sleeper but ever since I've got off the sleeping pills, I find myself waking up all the time on my side or stomach as well. It's funny coz for the 5 or so years on the sleep aids, I would fall asleep on my back and wake up in the same position, as if I hadn't even moved. Now, I apparently am all over the place. Last night was better w/the steroids for sure – the hands fell asleep a few times but remarkably better. However, I still slept poorly because I am apparently a walking disaster. Somehow, I scratched my cornea yesterday (I think that's what I did anyway after talking to a nurse – maybe taking out my contact) and my eye was watering throughout the night. I called the nurse line w/my ins company and they said not to wear contacts the next week and as long as it doesn't get worse,to wait and see how it is the next few days and then re-evalute. Always something, isn't it? So, hopefully that improves. If not, I'll be calling my eye doc bright and early Monday morning (who can hopefully prescribe drops or something). I'm such a ray of sunshine w/my news updates.

    My pillows are all memory foam like (2 are just under a year old and all natural hippy dippy earth friendly foam and one is your regular memory foam and closer to 3 yrs)- maybe I should get a different type? Suppose it can't hurt to try. I've also bought some bananas to add to my nightly ritual. Thank you Wishing you, as always, wonderful nights of sleep :)

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi there I am new here as of today but I've read this thread with interest. I've lost a lot of weight over the last 2 years (5 stone) but for the last 7 months I haven't lost a single pound despite eating less than 1500 calories a day and going to the gym 3 or 4 times a week and working out with a physical trainer!

    I definitely think that lack of sleep has a part to play. I've not got anything medically wrong with me to explain the lack of weightloss as i've been checked over by my GP.

    Anyway looking forward to starting the programme and hoping it helps a little in both departments :)

  • Sleepio Member

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    hi Kathryn, welcome to Sleepio :) I'm convinced that the whole sleep/weight gain thing is tied together. I'm the opposite of most who have gained weight when they weren't sleeping. Regardless of how it affects different people, I think it has something to do w/the cortisol levels and the body being out of sync. I've had blood work done as well and all came back as fine. I went from being about 120 last November (when I started Sleepio and I was a mess beyond belief) to 156.5 – I'm now down to about 154 – so at least the scale is starting to push the right direction (135 is my ideal weight) I'm doing Goldsfit which is like Crossfit w/A/C and not quite as brutal 5 times a week and eating drastically less than I used to (which I used to snack on tons of nuts/cheese/chocolate milk – beyond that I ate pretty well). The good thing about doing this Goldsfit is that I can actually do it! There is absolutely no way I could have done this class even 5 months ago but now that my sleep is fairly stabilized (I still have issues but in comparison to where I was, it's incredible) I have enough energy to do this. So, there is that and I'm getting tone again – finally. I had been out of the gym w/the exception of some yoga classes, for 3 years. So, overall things are good (despite my no longer being able to drink a carton of chocolate milk every other night w/no worries but it's a small price to pay for feeling better). Things will get better for you – this program and the supportive people on here – really turned my life completely around. If it worked for me, it can work for you! Congrats on working out as well – and w/a trainer – that's awesome (and not easy – way to go!)!! I sure couldn't do it when my sleep was messed up – and I'm sure you will be able to do and feel so much better when you get your sleep back in control and your energy levels are back where they should be. Best of luck w/the program! btw – posting on the community pages helped me immensely so continue to do so – the people here are really supportive and whatever it is you are going through, chances are you aren't alone and someone on here can help. Wishing you great nights of sleep and sweet dreams :)

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi gin-gin thanks for your reply! I certainly hope I don't gain any weight back with being on the programme lol, it's taken me a long time to get rid of it!!

    I hardly have the energy to do my PT sessions but I make myself go because I am scared of gaining the 71lbs back that I've lost and I know it's good for me. I just grit my teeth and bear it to be honest but I am changing shape and getting fitter so at least that side of my health is in a good way.

    Been using my Fitbit to track sleep efficiency in the first week and I'm shocked at the 57% rating I've just had, really looking forward to improving that poor score. I'm a bit apprehensive about the sleep reduction phase – when does that start and is it brutal? I am of course determined to do anything to try and help my sleeping but that bit when I read about it on here scared me a little!!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hey Kathryn, that's so awesome on your weight loss and dedication!! The sleep reduction part starts on your 3rd week. It's tough but it really works – it drastically relieves the anxiety about going to bed if you stick w/it – there is a lot of support here – you can do this! :)

  • Sleepio Member

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    Thanks for your kind words gin-gin they really do make a difference! I'm off on holiday for a short break in 4 weeks time so I'm a little worried about how I'm going to handle that but I think I read something on the forum about dealing with holidays so I'm off to have a read…

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi…I am new…just started week 1…have been having alot of issues with sleep medication side effect…I am basically an insomniac…with zopiclone I sleep well…but once I hit 3 pills I need to go off of it for a month and start back at 2…it is finding something to use when I am off the zopiclone which has been the issue…right now I am on 1/4 tab of remeron and it is helping but the dreams have me biting through my mouth guard…and the habit of eating at 10pm that started with Ambien had continued…definitely getting chunky which I don't want

    I had issues with my left arm…had a CT of my neck and there was a boney growth on C5 that was taking all of the space of the disc…had an ACDF spinal fusion on Feb 5 and it was a complete success…so yes get the MRI or CT before it gets worse…look at your options…I went to a phycial therapist and he helped me the most…my pillows have all been changed so my neck is always in a neutral position and finally I can sleep in a bed again…good luck

  • Sleepio Member

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    Thanks FM – so glad your surgery was a success!! your input really makes me feel like I am finally doing the right thing by getting the MRI (which I put off due to expense – I have to pay my full deductible and then a percentage). I actually had the MRI scheduled for today but the approval w/my insurance was still pending (since last Friday- ugh) so I've moved it to Tuesday – hope to get it done then and get some answers going to this whole mess!!

    I feel for you w/the zopiclone too – I was on up to 3 zolpidem (generic ambien) a night as well. I never did find a long term answer with the pills as much as I tried. They just made things that much worse for me. Hang in there! The program really helped me and I know it can help you as well! :)

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