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Sleep habits can play a role in weight regulation


Recently a number of studies have shown a link between sleep deprivation and obesity in infants, teens and adults. Now a new study has found that there is an increased intake in calories for persons of average weight when they do not get a full night’s sleep. And those calories are not healthy ones, as they tend to be from items containing saturated fat.

This new study, out of Columbia University, found that women ate an average of 329 additional calories when they don’t get a proper rest, while men ate an average of 263 more calories than their rested counterparts. At 3,500 calories per pound, that could equate to 2.57 additional pounds per month (and 30.8 pounds in a year), if sleep deprivation were to persist.

The lack of sleep can has also been proven to hinder dieters, as it affects hormone levels, heart health and cholesterol levels (as well as appearance of skin and hair). Too little of the nightly Zzzzs can prevent dieters from losing as much body fat as they would with adequate sleep.

Author of Beauty Sleep, Dr. Michael Breus says that the reasons are scientific, “When [people] are deprived of sleep, they have an increase in ghrelin—what we call the ‘go’ hormone—because it makes you want to go eat more,” he continues by saying that the reminder to quit eating is also diminished with less sleep, “[people] also have a drop in leptin, the ‘stop’ hormone that tells you to stop when you’re full.”

To help get a good night’s rest, try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day; keep a routine before sleeping so you can fall asleep quicker like bathing, reading, or meditating and stick to it; limit your caffeine after noon and watch your alcohol intake a few hours before bedtime. (

By Susan Brady

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