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.
Action Sparked
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

There's a reason you feel so good after a good night's rest. Report
Great info Report
Good info thank you Report
I always heard it was important, but this is from research to confirm it. TY Report
Very interesting. Report
Thanks Report
Great article Report
this is SO important. Report
I ended up here because of the hyperlink in the For a Good Night's Sleep, Try Steak article. I struggle with getting a consistent good nights sleep. This article was interesting and informative. Report
Really enjoyed this article Report
12 men does not create a valid study! I do usually keep a routine sleep/wake schedule. Report
I work hard through the day. When I go to bed I relax and read for about half an hour. I usually get 7 hours sleep. Report
Sleep is so vital! Report
I will try this...stop tracking early and get to bed by 9:30. Maybe then I can get past this plateau. Now if I can get my hubby on board! Report


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.