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The Connection of Sleep And Weight Gain

Mar 20, 2008
Extensive studies have been conducted regarding sleep and how it affects man's well-being. Recent sleep studies continue to reach new heights and research conducted by the American Thoracic Society points to a relationship between sleeplessness and weight gain.

The study revealed that women who slept for less than five hours a day tended to be about 33 pounds heavier than their counterparts who enjoyed over seven hours of sleep a day. It was previously understood that lack of sleep has certain well documented side effects such as accelerated aging, loss of immunity, stress and memory loss, but not until recently has it also been proven that sleeplessness can also impact your body weight. It is interesting to note just how sleeplessness relates to weight gain and in this article I will examine some ways in which that happens.

Women, men and even children who sleep less tend to weigh more than their counterparts who get a good night's sleep of seven to 9 nine hours. There have been numerous studies conducted regarding weight gain and sleep, but the actual reason why people who sleep less end up heavier is still a mystery. Some researchers have suggested that the reason this is so is because when people work more and sleep less, they tend to exercise less and this may contribute to weight gain. They also tend to eat more unhealthy foods than their counterparts who slept longer. Researchers also discovered that people who sleep less have slightly higher levels of the hormones ghrelin and leptin, which boost appetite.

People who have higher stress levels actually sleep less because of their emotional well-being. Stress and sleeplessness go hand and in hand and so do unhealthy eating habits such as over-eating.

We need to realize the importance of sleep in our lives. It seems that we put everything else in our lives first, and then comes sleep. If you're getting anything less than seven hours of sleep per day, you are asking for trouble. Lack of sleep can not only cause weight gain, but also it could also lead to a loss of physical and mental health, cause coordination difficulties and lead to having a poor memory.

Some tips that will help you get a better night's sleep, which in turn will help you to control your weight:
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol late in the afternoon and evening.
- Make sure to exercise regularly.
- Establish a specific time for bed - make it a routine. This allows you to unwind and it signals the body it's time for sleep.
- Steer clear of reading or watching TV in bed. Your bed is your place to sleep.
- If your job involves shift work that can be difficult, especially when it comes to getting a good night's (or day's!) sleep.
- Develop a bedtime habit. Read a book, take a warm bath, and listen to soothing music before climbing into bed.
About the Author
Bill Romanowski is a 4-time NFL Super Bowl Champion player who endured the most grueling impact on his mind and body during his 16 year NFL career. During this time Bill learned how to harness premium nutrition to benefit both his mind and body. Romo is a living example of the quality of life that one can enjoy if they fuel their body with the correct nutrients. You can contact Bill at Nutrition53.
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