Why sleep and weight are connected

By on September 10, 2014
Exactly how lack of sleep affects our ability to lose weight has a lot to do with our nightly hormones. Scientists have found that sleep deprivation increases levels of a hunger hormone (ghrelin) and decreases levels of a hormone that makes you feel full (leptin). The effects may lead to overeating and weight gain. The hormones have been called the yin and yang of hunger.

Imagine a traffic light. Green signals “go,” just as ghrelin signals hunger and red signals “stop,” just as leptin signals enough.
When you have less than eight hours of sleep, the body may produce more ghrelin and signal more hunger. On the other hand, like red signals “stop”, leptin signals enough.

When you are sleep deprived, your body produces less leptin. More ghrelin and less leptin may equal weight gain for you. Amazingly enough, even our sleep habits can affect our weight and how healthy we truly are.

Research has helped us to understand the association between sleep deprivation and increased risk of a wide spectrum of medical conditions including type 2 diabetes and obesity. In our fast-paced, hectic life, we need to stop and recognize the impact a good night’s sleep can have and the devastation consistent lack of adequate sleep can have on our health. Sleep is vitally important to maintaining a healthy body.

Here are my Top Ten Tips on Getting a Good Night Sleep

1. Make the room you sleep in as dark as possible

2. Exercise daily

3. Stop smoking and reduce caffeine

4. Establish a bedtime ritual

5. Turn off the TV and computer

6. Relax before bedtime

7. Learn to value sleep

8. Avoid alcohol near bedtime

9. Eat a healthy diet

10. If necessary, consult a sleep specialist


DrKarenWolfe-Book_3D-72dpi-212x300Dr. Karen Wolfe is an Australian physician, keynote speaker and holistic health coach. She has authored seven books including her latest, “Is Your Lifestyle Killing You?”.
This book lays out the underlying causes of chronic health problem and weight issue that affect our overall health and happiness. There is something valuable to learn from the natural consequences of a modern lifestyle and how it threatens to impact our health over time. It’s a no-nonsense book written with creatures of habit in mind.  Purchase the book here.


About Dr. Karen Wolfe

Dr. Karen Wolfe is an Australian physician,keynote speaker and holistic health coach. To get valuable tips on health and aging, contact Dr. Wolfe at http://drkarenwolfe.org/