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Not Enough Sleep and Weight Gain: What's the Connection

Not Enough Sleep and Weight Gain: What's the Connection

Are you getting a restful night of sleep? Do you wake up and feel energized? If the answer is "No," it could be causing other problems besides making you tired.

Scientists found that people getting 4 or less hours of sleep have a rise in the hormone ghrelin, that is related to stimulating the appetite, which in turn causes them to eat. At the same time, they have lower levels of the hormone leptin, which is what makes them feel full.

Not getting enough sleep at night actually makes people feel more hungry when they are awake, so they eat more. Sleep-deprived people tend to crave high-carb foods like bagels, cookies, pasta, and bread. They have chaotic eating patterns, which can mess up their metabolism, which will cause them to burn fewer calories.

There is a strong correlation between healthy sleep patterns and healthy eating habits. Getting enough sleep and controlling stress are subtle things that could have an impact on weight. Of course healthy eating and daily exercise play a part too.

Fit's Tips: If you are having a hard time getting a good night's sleep, you should definitely try different techniques like avoiding caffeinated drinks and alcohol, and exercising early in the day. Click here if you want to read up on the subject. If you've tried everything in the book, talk to your doctor about other options.

amandasunly amandasunly 10 years
Thanks, I've been sleeping around 4 hours on average the whole year, and I knew it was bad, but I didn't know it was this bad. Maybe that's why I have stunted growth. I need to sleep more!!!
jamiegirl jamiegirl 10 years
I'm constantly urging my boss to impose mandatory nap time not umlike regular breaks just much longer 35-40 would do it for me.
kerneschick2005 kerneschick2005 10 years
Also, if you read the study done by Dement (psychologist) who did research that expanded the work of Aserinsky (on dreams), you will see that in passing, Dement discovered that a lack of REM sleep (aka dream sleep) experiences hunger more often throughout the day than someone who experiences normal REM sleep. (Can be read in Hock's "Forty Studies That Changed Psychology"). It goes right along with this!
kscincotta kscincotta 10 years
Very interesting. Thanks, Fit.
M155-J4CK13 M155-J4CK13 10 years
Also, when you are sleep deprived, your body needs more energy (read:calories) to function, and thus you eat more to stave off the feeling of tiredness. Sometimes I am awake for a full 48 hours. On occasion, even longer. It feels like being intoxicated, almost.
mandiesoh mandiesoh 10 years
sigh i've not been getting enough sleep! no wonder i keep wanting to pig out!
ZergGirl ZergGirl 10 years
I have some old accounting textbooks from my college days. Sometimes just opening the book will send me to sleep, exactly like it did back then, LOL
elynette elynette 10 years
I used to watch the Joy of Painting with Bob Ross... I'd be knocked out before he was able to give the happy pine a happy bush friend by the serene mountaintop... just thinking about it makes me zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ------------------------------------------------------------- Hi Ho silver....Awwwwwaaaaaaaaayyyy!!
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