More sleep equals a smaller waistline

Tip #3

The sleep diet may sound like something from a late night infomercial, but it turns out there really is some research to back the claim that getting enough sleep can help you lose weight.

We all have heard the message that adults need between 7-8 hours of sleep at night, but most Americans (adults as well as many children) don’t get the recommended amount of sleep. Recent research has linked the hormones leptin and ghrelin to appetite and weight control and these hormones are also driven by sleep.

Ghrelin, which is produced in the gastrointestinal tract, stimulates appetite, while leptin, produced in fat cells, sends a signal to the brain when you are full.

These hormones are connected to sleep because it appears that when you don’t get enough sleep, leptin levels are driven down, which means you won’t feel as satisfied after you eat. At the same time, lack of sleep also causes ghrelin levels to rise, which means your appetite is stimulated, so you want more food. The combination of lower levels of leptin and higher levels of ghrelin can cause you to overeat, and overeating can cause weight gain. This might explain the freshman fifteen and the late night munchies!

If you have trouble falling asleep, make sure that you are getting some physical activity in every day, but don’t exercise too close to bedtime as this may make it more difficult to sleep. Experts also recommend turning off your TV and or computer an hour before bedtime to allow your body ample time to relax.

I don’t normally have trouble falling asleep, but experience has showed me that listening to a guided meditation almost always cause me to fall asleep, so that would be my number 1 recommendation, to those who do have trouble sleeping. What are your tips for falling asleep easily?

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Hi! I'm Heather: a body positivity, Health at Every Size dietitian. When I'm not blogging about wellness, I'm spending time with my fabulous family. Sometimes, they wear me out, so then it's time to bake, read, knit, tie myself into a yoga pose, or continue to work my first novel... stay tuned.