Getting a good night's sleep is one of the keys to losing weight, says neurologist David Simon of the Chopra Center in Carlsbad, California. In recent years, significant research has shown that lack of sleep is directly connected to weight gain because of the actions of two hormones, leptin and ghrelin, that control hunger and satiety, or feeling full. When you're sleep deprived, your ghrelin levels increase at the same time that your leptin levels decrease. The result is more craving, less feeling full. Add to that the fact that sleep-deprived people often crave "energy" foods, which tend to be sweet or salty, and you can see how small changes in your routine can add up to big weight gain.
Lastly, there are tantalizing new studies suggesting that our bodies may be more metabolically active while we sleep than previously thought. So the longer we sleep, the more we rev up our inner fat-burning engines! You still shouldn't snack late at night, though. Researchers also believe that calories eaten late in the evening are processed less efficiently than those consumed during the day, no matter how active our nighttime metabolism.
The older we are, the harder it is to get a good night's sleep -- and the less we sleep, the more likely it is we'll gain weight. Take steps to combat sleep problems and your waistline will benefit, and it will decrease your risk for depression, colon cancer, breast cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
The Healthy Heart Sleep Program says that patients with OSA are three times more likely to have heart failure. They offer information for cardiologists and heart patients to help find a practical solution for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) which is a primary identifiable cause of hypertension.
Sleep well and be well!