Recharge your battery

Did you know that people who sleep for 5 hours a night gain on average 2 pounds in 5 days.

Woman lying face down on her bed with one eye open trying hard to sleep

Sleep deprived people burn approximately 100 calories more per day due to being awake longer. However, they also increase their food intake – more than offsetting the bonus burn. Poor sleepers consume a greater number of calories during late-night snacking. On the other hand, people who sleep for 9 hours per night eat fewer calories and don’t experience weight gain.

Sleep deprivation can:

  • Lower levels of leptin – the hormone that tells the brain it is time to stop eating.
  • Increase the hunger hormone, ghrelin.
  • Increase your “hunger rating.”

A good night’s sleep can ward off stress and depression, increase mental focus, improve your mood and even helps to prevent cravings.

Poor sleep has negative affects on your metabolism that lead to weight gain. You may have noticed that if you are tired and start to fade in the afternoon, that you seek a “pick-me-up”, usually a sweet, other carbohydrate or caffeine. Scientific research tells us that poor sleep changes the way our body uses and makes glucose (sugar, the energy currency of the body), contributing to insulin resistance. Poor sleep also contributes to high blood pressure and high cholesterol. In this way, inadequate and interrupted sleep leads to metabolic syndrome and increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

There are many health issues that are worsened with obesity that, on their own, also affect sleep, such as depression, chronic pain, heart failure, asthma, and gastroesophageal reflux (GERD). Many medications used to treat these conditions also affect the quality of sleep. It is complicated: if you are significantly overweight, losing weight will improve sleep by improving health. The reverse is also true: improving sleep will improve weight.

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