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Is your sleep routine making you fat?

DETROIT – It’s estimated that 65% percent of Americans are overweight.  We can attribute that to multiple factors including poor diet, lack of physical exercise, sedentary jobs, etc.  

But what about sleep deprivation?  Can not getting enough sleep cause you to gain weight?  So much new research keeps pointing to the connection between sleep deprivation and being overweight.   

Scientific studies have shown that the ideal amount of sleep for an adult is 7-9 hours.  Many people are getting less than that.  Much less.  In one study, people who got 5 hours of sleep or less had a 73% increased risk of being overweight.  There is a correlation between less than 7 hours of sleep and being overweight.  

Sleep deprivation doesn't’t mean you wake up with more fat on your body.  It’s all about your hormones.  2 important hormones called ghrelin and leptin have a direct impact on your appetite.  They are created and fluctuating during sleep.

Let’s first talk about ghrelin. Ghrelin is the appetite stimulating hormone that tells your body that you’re hungry, you need food, you want to eat more.  Picture this as a “green means go” hormone.

When you sleep the adequate 7-9 hours, ghrelin levels will decrease, meaning that you wake up with LESS of this appetite stimulating hormone, making you less hungry throughout the entire day.

This is good!  When you get less than 7 hours of sleep, ghrelin doesn’t have enough time to properly decrease, leaving levels high and you wake up with MORE of the appetite stimulation hormone.  You spend the day constantly hungry and wanting to eat and snack. This is the opposite of what you want!

Leptin is the appetite suppressing hormone that tells your body when you’ve had enough to eat, to stop eating, and that you’re full.  Picture this as the “red means stop” hormone.  When you sleep the adequate 7-9 hours, leptin levels will increase, meaning that you wake up with MORE of this appetite suppressing hormone, making you less hungry throughout the entire day.  This is good!

When you get less than 7 hours of sleep, leptin doesn’t have a chance to increase enough and you’re left with LESS of this appetite suppressing hormone, leaving levels low and making you ravenously hungry.  

You never feel satisfied, like a bottomless pit, always hungry all day long.  This is the opposite of what you want!

The problem here is that not getting enough sleep will make you hungry, and eating more is what will cause you to gain weight.  The solution seems simple and obvious, but isn’t easy.  

TRY THIS TO GET MORE SLEEP:

1.    You can’t sleep if you aren’t in bed!  Get into bed earlier.
2.    Try drinking Calm, a magnesium supplement, at bedtime.
3.    Get off of your devices!  Listen to soothing music instead, EYES CLOSED!

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