Why Snoozing is Important for Losing

Burning the midnight oil could be giving you the munchies the next day. A small study found that lack of sleep might trigger individuals to eat more. Twelve young men slept for only four hours on two consecutive nights. Then hormone levels and hunger ratings were recorded:
  • The hormone leptin, which alerts the brain that it is time to stop eating, was 18% lower.
  • The hormone ghrelin, which triggers hunger, was 28% higher.
  • The men showed a 24% increase in assessing their "hunger rating" following the sleep restriction. The rise in obesity has occurred simultaneously with the decline in time spent sleeping. Currently only about 25% of young Americans get 8 to 9 hours of sleep a night. In 1960, 41% received 8 to 9 hours of sleep nightly.
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Additional studies are needed to confirm this initial study. However, consistently getting a good night’s sleep (at least 8 hours) may be one of the answers to maintaining a healthy weight. This sensible recommendation may be one of the easier lifestyle changes to make. Too busy for that much sleep? Try getting to bed an hour earlier each night when you can. Maintaining the same bedtime (and alarm time) each day (including weekends!) can also stabilize your circadian rhythm.
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Member Comments

Great article. I sleep between 7-9 hours most days. Report
Thank you! Report
Sleeping adequately is so important when trying to lose weight. Report
thank you Report
thanks Report
Dont usually get 8 hours...usually more like 6 but I do best with around 9 hours. Report
Good article. Report
Shut-eye! Report
Not being a night person has always helped me. Report
Good article. Report
Some of us don't regularly sleep that much. It seems that it can be linked to certain conditions in some cases. I am not taking sleeping pills to get that much sleep. Hot weather (and warmer indoor temperatures too) is one of the things that seems to be linked with getting less sleep in my case. Chronic pain is another thing that it may be linked to. Hopefully it won't leave me with senile dementia later. There is some of that in my family history. Report
I've been averaging 7-8 hours a night Report
This is very pertinent in my life... Report


About The Author

Becky Hand
Becky Hand
Becky is a registered and licensed dietitian with almost 20 years of experience. A certified health coach through the Cooper Institute with a master's degree in health education, she makes nutrition principles practical, easy-to-apply and fun. See all of Becky's articles.