By Kerri Whatley and the TLS Team
We all have those days where our to do list out do the hours in the day. Most of us start the day with big plans to go to bed early tonight…that is, until life gets in the way. From the work deadlines, the mountain of emails to go through, or the kids needing a ride somewhere, life happens. The problem is, often, life happens instead of sleep.
Studies show that 30% of average working Americans typically gets between 4 and 6 hours of sleep a night. If you work the night shift the average slumber time is even less. The recommended 7-9 hours of sleep seems out of reach but it could keep your health and appetite regular.
According to Jerry Kram, medical director of the California Center for Sleep Disorders in Alameda, Calif., not getting enough sleep can wreak havoc on your appetite control hormones. This could leave you craving junk food at all the wrong times which contribute to weight gain as well as the possibility of predisposing the body to diabetes. Simply put “There isn’t a substitute for an adequate amount of sleep,” says Kram.
Studies show that the risk of obesity is consistently higher for people who sleep less than 6 hours a day. Kristen Knutson, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, has been able to link not enough sleep to the increase of body fat or BMI. In a recent study, people of average weight were subjected to only 4 hours of sleep a night over a few days. The hormone levels found when controlling appetite had changed, lepton, which is what tells us were full had declined and ghrelin, what tells us were hungry had increased. They also had larger cravings for unhealthy junk food.
Without getting enough sleep you are not only hurting your appetite, but you are more tired and less likely to go to work out or be active to burn off the extra food you ate the night before. During a study Orfeu Buxton, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, had 21 participants mimic unusual sleep patterns for several weeks. We saw an 8 percent reduction in resting metabolic rate, or the amount of calories you burn to maintain body weight while you rest,” he says. “This equates to a potential of 10 pounds of weight gain in a year, with diet and We saw an 8 percent reduction in resting metabolic rate, or the amount of calories you burn to maintain body weight while you rest,” he says. “This equates to a potential of 10 pounds of weight gain in a year, with diet and exercise remaining the same.”Says Buxton.
Don’t worry, you can fix it with these three tips:
1) 6 hours of sleep is simply not enough, but the good news is that once you change you sleeping patterns to a normal 7-9 hours, you can restore normal hormonal functions rather quickly.
2) Take the time to relax, if you are finished or not set a time to be done for the day, and be done. Sit around and watch TV or phone a friend, simply take time to do what you enjoy.
3) Go to bed, enjoy the sleep you deserve. Your health may depend on it.
Help us count sheep and share with us how much sleep you typically get per night: