Jul 13

I KNEW there was some correlation to sleep deprivation and weight gain!!!
Every time I have trouble catching my ZZZ’s, I’m ravenous!

My nutritionist, Samantha Lynch, blogged about this very subject and I want to share it with you:

Underestimating Sleep

It is a thrill to live in the city that never sleeps! Between non-stop entertainment, balancing a family, and career it is easy to understand how NYC gets such a name. However, not getting enough sleep has been shown to hinder weight loss efforts.

Over the past few decades the prevalence of obesity has exponentially grown. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 66 percent of Americans are now overweight or obese. The number of obese adults (those with a BMI of 30 kg/m2 or more) jumped from 15 percent in 1980 to 32.9 percent in 2004 (1). Along with the growth of obesity there has been a similar rise in chronic sleep deprivation. According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2008 Sleep in America poll, the average American spends 6 hours and 40 minutes per night sleeping although the recommendation is to get at least 7 to 9 hours (3). Inadequate sleep has become common for many Americans today who juggle the demands of work multiplicity of jobs, family commitments, and extended social schedules. Also, the growth of round-the-clock entertainment through cable television, video games, and the Internet has decreased the time left for sleep (2).

Studies have observed an association between reduced sleep and increased weight, suggesting those who sleep less than 7 hours per night are more likely to be obese (4-5). Research suggests that sleep deprivation contributes to the development obesity by decreasing leptin, increasing ghrelin, and compromising insulin sensitivity (6-7). This means when leptin levels are low, the body craves more carbohydrates. Sleep deprivation interferes with the body’s ability to metabolize carbohydrate, causing high blood glucose levels, and therefore causing higher insulin levels and greater body-fat storage.

The Bottom Line

  • Aim for 7-9 hrs/night of good sleep


  • Exercise everyday (even if it is going for a brisk walk).

  • TiVo or DTV your favorite shows that coincide with your bedtime.

  • Having trouble falling asleep and you are hungry? Have a small bowl of oatmeal, glass of milk, or a few crackers. Complex carbohydrates releases serotonin which promotes sleep.

  • Set the alarm for the same time each day and it will be easier to get out of bed.

For the full article and resources, check out her blog:

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