An emerging body of research reveals that the less you sleep, the more likely
you are to put on excess weight. One trial followed 83,377 men and women for
seven and a half years. The researchers found that those who were not initially
obese, but slumbered fewer than five hours a night were 40% more likely to
develop obesity by the study's end- compared with those who slept for seven to
eight hours a night. Too little shut-eye seems to promote weight gain in several
For starters, lack of sufficient sleep has been shown to slow down
metabolism, so you burn fewer calories. Plus, the resulting fatigue can make
you less motivated to be up and about the next day, and more likely to spend
the day sitting or lounging around. At the same time sleep deprivation disrupts
hormones that control hunger and appetite, such as leptin and ghrelin, which
may be why research shows that a lack of sleep can encourage you to eat 300 to
500 extra calories a day.
If you would like a better night's sleep, try these tips from the National Sleep Foundation.
Stay active - Exercise helps regulate your body clock -particularly during daylight hours.
Make sleep a priority - Don't let sleep be the thing you do only after everything else is done. Schedule it like any other activity.
Stay on schedule - Going to sleep at the same time every night helps your body know when it's time to feel sleepy.
Practice good sleep hygiene - Don't use electronic devices within two hours of your bedtime, as the blue light they emit keeps you wakeful. Keep your room as dark as possible.