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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

Wish I coud sleep the whole night through. Report
I never used to sleep well. I live in chronic pain. Sleep causes pain so I'd wake up hurting and still do.

BUT!! I maintain a regular bedtime and when I do wake up in pain, I just allow no thoughts of dread etc. I just get into a different position and turn on the 2 heating pads I sleep with (automatic shut off) sigh and I am BACK TO SLEEP!! The regular bedtime with a routine is so important. Report
Sweet, repairing sleep! Report
This has been very hard for me to do but I am working on it! Right now I am close to 7 hrs.

With all this warmer weather it is really messing with my sleep habits but I am also stretching myself way too thin. I'm gonna work hard.... Sleep smarter. Report
Since I am retired, it's much easier to get a good night's sleep. I get between 7 and 8 hours most nights. Report
I rarely get 8 hours of sleep in more like 5 or 6 hours unless I am really tired. Report
The most I get on any given night is 5-6. Working two jobs it's hard for me to get in bed before 9 pm and then I get up at 4:45 am in order to get some sort of exercise in before starting my day over again. Report
Great article, thank you. Report
Sleeping right is very important. I learned this early in my weight loss journey. Report
Any research with females? I'd like to know if there any difference!

Thanks for the share! Report
interesting Report
Great article. I sleep between 7-9 hours most days. Report
Thank you! Report
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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.