Can lack of sleep lead to weight gain?

Can lack of sleep lead to weight gain?

Sleep is your body’s best friend-in more ways than you might think. Many people find themselves with the afternoon munchies, and getting a good night’s rest can help curb that craving.

When you don’t get the recommended amount of rest, your hormones cause the levels of ghrelin, which let you know that you’re hungry, to rise, and the levels of leptin, which inform you when you’re full, to fall, according to research done by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

A study conducted by Mayo Clinic researchers found that people who slept only two-thirds of their normal sleep time, compared to those who slept their normal amount, consumed 549 additional calories each day.

Dr. Wayne Rubinstein, a sleep medicine specialist at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, recommends these five tips for making sure you get enough sleep:

  • Stick to a schedule that allows time to relax before bed
  • Put away your cell phone, tablet and computer when you go to bed
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine and large meals within a few hours of bedtime
  • Exercise earlier in the day
  • Use an app or fitness monitor to help track progress

In addition to getting more sleep, there are many ways to avoid afternoon munchies. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Eat a good breakfast that includes lots of vegetables and proteins
  • Stay hydrated
  • Keep healthy snacks nearby to munch on instead of candy or chips
  • Stick to whole grains and healthy fats instead of packaged or processed foods

The National Sleep Foundation suggests that adults should get at least seven to nine hours of sleep per night. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in three U.S. adults do not get the recommended amount of sleep.


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  1. Thank you for this helpful info!

  2. Great info!

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.