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Sleep and Weight Gain: The Hidden Relationship

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Sleep and Weight Gain: The Hidden Relationship

The time has come for New Year resolutions. We love them, we hate them, we try to achieve them, yet 80% of us fail by the second week in February.

While we’re no expert on every resolution known to man, we may be able to help out with a very popular one: weight loss.

Weight loss continues to top the list of New Year resolutions. And surprisingly, there’s more to it than just eating healthy and exercising. Sleep actually plays a significant role in keeping your weight in check. Did you know that skimping on zzz’s can lead to:

  • Increased hunger?
  • Increased cravings?
  • Overeating?
  • Unhealthy food choices?
  • Skipped exercise?

How are these things connected? There are two hormones -- ghrelin and leptin -- that tie together weight loss and sleep.

Ghrelin, nicknamed the “hunger hormone,” drives your appetite. When you don’t get enough sleep, ghrelin hormone levels increase. This could be the reason why you find yourself indulging more on the days you had a poor night's rest.

Leptin does the exact opposite. It tells your body when you are full and should stop eating. When you didn’t think it could get any worse, less sleep decreases leptin production. Less leptin = more hunger and eating.

What’s more, your decision making is compromised as well. Activity in the region of the brain that controls impulse controls and judgement is diminished after little sleep. Maybe this is why you never go to the gym on little sleep or why you always have a cheat day after a long night.

Avoid all of these unwanted effects by getting the recommended 6 to 8 hours of sleep a night. One of the biggest ways you can help get a good night’s sleep is by establishing a relaxing and calming night routine. SleepPhones® can help by letting you comfortably listen to white noise, meditation tracks, and more.

If you’re one of the millions of people who plan on losing weight in 2019, don’t forget to make sleep a priority. Your waistline may just thank you for it.

 

Carrie Smith's picture

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