Sleep More to Stay Thin

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Personal trainer Harley Pasternak explains why, when you don’t get enough sleep, you may find yourself reaching for junk food to make it through the day. Logging less than eight hours can cause hormonal changes leaving you feeling sapped, most importantly in your gherlin and leptin levels. Gherlin is responsible for making you feel hungry. Leptin regulates how much energy you spend, and allows you to realize when you feel full. After a night with little sleep, gherlin levels increase causing a spike in hunger, while leptin levels drop off, meaning that even though you may want to eat more, you will not feel as satisfied by a typical amount of food. This can lead to 20% higher overall calorie intake in a day. Additionally, the food you reach for probably will not be the healthiest choice. Tired people are more likely to take the easiest, fastest food option, which may be more sugary and less healthy than normal. Finally, the more hours you stay awake, the more opportunities you will have to consume calories, going to bed early cuts out late night snacking hours.

If you’ve had trouble catching the zzz’s you need to curb your appetite, Pasternak offers some helpful tips to help you sleep more. First, start preparing for bed when you arrive at home with clear signals like changing clothes, washing your face, and taking out contacts. Then remove all technology from your bedroom, and do not use cell phones, iPads or other gadgets in bed. Stay active during the day to tire your body out physically. Be sure to cut off caffeine by 2pm to prevent sleep disruptions. Plan ahead so that nagging tasks do not keep you laying awake. Make your bedroom totally dark, and as sound free as possible with earplugs or a white noise machine. Follow those tips to sleep soundly and keep your appetite under control.

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