January 3

Is Lack of Sleep Making You Fat?

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Is Lack of Sleep Making You Fat?
by Theresa Grisanti, MA, CHHC

Research shows that peo­ple who sleep less than 5 hours or more than 9 hours a night are more likely to be over weight.  The less sleep they get the higher their BMI will be.

But how could sleep affect your weight?

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The ResearchThere are two key hor­mones at play in the con­nec­tion between sleep and weight.  The first is ghre­lin which tells the body when to eat.  The sec­ond is lep­tin, the counter to ghre­lin, that tells the body when to stop eat­ing because it is satisfied.¹

A joint research project with researchers at Stan­ford and the Uni­ver­sity of Wis­con­sin found  when a per­son gets less than 8 hours of sleep the lev­els of ghre­lin jump sig­nif­i­cantly and lep­tin drops.  The result is a 45% increase in crav­ings for high car­bo­hy­drate, calo­rie dense foods to pro­vide addi­tional energy to sup­port the body’s needs. ²

The reason for this, is the body recognizes the need for more energy when sleep deprived.  Our infinitely intelligent body therefore creates an environment where we will consume more food, especially carbohydrates which are quick sources of energy, so we can meet the body’s needs over the course of the day.

These stud­ies show not only a change in hor­mone levels based on the amount of sleep but also a cor­re­la­tion between the sleep­ing pat­terns and level of weight gain. The less a per­son sleeps, the more they weigh. Researchers con­tinue on to sug­gest this can con­tribute to a reduced energy expen­di­ture in con­junc­tion with higher caloric intake.²

The result is added weight gain and more dif­fi­culty with weight loss.

The Solu­tion

Get­ting suf­fi­cient sleep is essential for the body to achieve and main­tain a nor­mal, healthy weight.

If weight loss is a New Year’s Resolution for you, remember that accord­ing to Ayervedic med­i­cine every hour of sleep before mid­night is equiv­a­lent to 3 hours of sleep after mid­night.   So go to bed early so you can get up early if you need more productive time in your day.  Your body will thank you for it by being healthier and help you to shed unwanted pounds.

Theresa Grisanti has been studying and applying her understanding of health, nutrition and intuitive eating for more than 15 years. Her training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, included instruction from leaders in the holistic healing field, such as Andrew Weil and Mona Lisa Schultz. Find out more about Theresa's new program Break Free From Dieting and learn how to lose weight the natural way.


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