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Lose Weight While You Sleep

By Heather Moreno Published 06/14/2006 | Fitness

Believe it or not, sleep has a great deal to do with how and what you eat and maintaining your weight.

Your body runs according to your biological clock. This clock is difficult if not impossible to change. So, you must create your lifestyle around this internal clock. Most of us structure our sleep around our work, family and home life with less thought to what our bodies need were dealing with life. But there is good incentive to make a change.

A lack of sleep can affect your weight in two ways:

1. People who lack sleep are more likely to overeat. Your ability to be in tune to hunger is diminished and research shows that sleep-deprived people tend to eat 15% more food than those who get the sleep they need. Many go for high-sugar comfort foods, like cookies and candy, for a quick energy boost. In a sleep-deprived state, the body will store more calories as fat thinking a crisis is near. Ugh!

2. When you get enough sleep you replenish your energy stores and your hormones stay in check. When you are sleep deprived the hormone cortisol rises in your body, indicating stress. When cortisol remains high it stimulates your appetite for high sugar foods and it also causes the body to store more fat in the abdominal area. Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain!

Consider the following:

What time do you get up? Go to bed?

How many hours of sleep do you average?

How many hours of sleep do you need?

Based on the hours of sleep you need, what time is ideal for you to go to bed? To get up?

You might notice some changes need to be made. While you may not be able to reach your ideal habits right now, making small changes in sleeping habits can help, especially during the crazy schedules the holidays bring.