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Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain

By Senior Editor
Food Pyramid -

Did you know that you could gain weight if you don’t get enough sleep?

Lack of sleep increases appetite for unhealthy foods

According to a studies at the University of Chicago, poor sleep can lead to weight gain. Studies also show that if you don’t get enough sleep you will also get an increased appetite for unhealthy foods.

According to a study made by the University of Chicago, the test volunteers, who only slept for 4 hours per night during 2 nights, showed a 24 % increased appetite in food, especially sweets like candies, cookies, and salty products like chips and nuts. They also wanted more bread and pasta, all very rich in carbs.

Lack of sleep causes hormonal changes

If you don’t get enough sleep the body’s production of hormones changes. The study showed an 18% reduced production of a special type of hormone Leptin, which informs the brain that you don’t need to eat more. At the same time the body produced 28% more of the hormone Ghrelin, which triggers the hunger in the stomach.

An adult need to sleep 7-9 hours/night

According to the National Sleep Foundation the average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Adolescents, ages 11 to 17, need about 8.5-9.5 hours per night and children who are 5 to 12 years old need 9-11 hours of sleep per night. With more than 60 percent of the American population overweight, it’s no wonder that researchers are exploring the possible connection between overweight and lack of sleep.

A report in the Journal of the American Medical Association observed that a decline in daily hours of sleep may play more of a role in promoting overeating and weight gain than previously thought. The ones who sleep less than 4 hours per night have an increased risk by 73% of getting overweight. Studies on rats also verify the theory that lack of sleep can make you gain weight. According to the studies the rats that slept less, ate more than the rats with normal sleep.

Since the 1960s – Americans sleep less and eat more

It’s very interesting to find out that for the past 40 years, adult Americans have reduced their sleep with almost 2 hours. In 1960 adult Americans slept on an average of 8.5 hours a night. Today the average American sleeps less than 7 hours per night, which is too little. An adult needs about 8.5 hours sleep every night, as mentioned above.

What’s even more interesting is to find out that Americans’ average weight has increased with about 25 pounds since the 1960s, according to National Center for Health Statistics. This means that these findings conclude with the recent studies that suggest that lack of sleep leads to weight gain! So, if you want to lose weight make sure you get enough sleep!

If you have trouble sleeping here are some tips:

  • Exercise early in the day.
  • Don’t take a nap during the day. If you absolutely must, take your nap early in the day for less than 30 minutes.
  • Avoid coffee, alcohol and cigarettes hours before bedtime.
  • Don’t eat a large, heavy meal before bed.

Sweet dreams…..zzzzzzzzz……….

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