Lose weight while you sleep..!

May 28, 2009   //   by Steve Wooding   //   General  //  No Comments

I came across this article a while ago and thought I’d write a timely reminder of how your sleep (or lack of it) can actually affect your weight.

Researchers at Stanford and Wisconsin Universities have discovered through a series of experiments that sleep affects more than how tired we feel – it has a profound yet unconscious effect on our appetite.

Sleep affects the body’s production of two hormones that affect how hungry (or not) that we feel, and the less sleep we get, the more out of balance these two hormones get. What they found was that people who get around 5 hours sleep a night have significantly lower levels of the hormone that suppresses appetite (leptin), and significantly higher levels of another hormone that stimulates appetite (grehlin).

So, the more out of balance they get, the more our appetite increases, and the more likely we are to graze, i.e. nibble on stuff we can find in the kitchen cupboards or fridge. And we all know that we’re more likely to graze on snacky foods like biscuits, crisps and chocolate than on anything remotely healthy like fruit.

For people who only sleep around 5 hours a night, these hormones are out of balance by about 15% each – it might not sound like a lot but as far as your body is concerned, it makes a BIG difference. So much so that the researchers found that people who regularly sleep only 5 hours a night are significantly heavier than those who regularly make sure they get 8 hours sleep.

The researchers have pointed out that obesity tends to occur in societies where pressure to work long hours and socialise in the evenings is high. This, coupled with the relative ease with which we can find food, either at home or while we’re out, makes it even more imperative that we give our bodies as much of what they REALLY need as we can.

In this case, that’s sleep, and it’s up to each one of us as individuals to seek to do whatever we can to make sure that happens – and the more we do, the easier it gets.

I wish you pleasant dreams!

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