Harvard University has conducted some research on sleep deprivation and obesity here is what they say:
“A growing body of research suggests that there’s a link between how much people sleep and how much they weigh. In general, children and adults who get too little sleep tend to weigh more than those who get enough sleep. (1,3)
For example, in the Nurses’ Health Study, researchers followed roughly 60,000 women for 16 years, asking them about their weight, sleep habits, diet, and other aspects of their lifestyle. (2) At the start of the study, all of the women were healthy, and none were obese; 16 years later, women who slept 5 hours or less per night had a 15 percent higher risk of becoming obese, compared to women who slept 7 hours per night. Short sleepers also had 30 percent higher risk of gaining 30 pounds over the course of the study, compared to women who got 7 hours of sleep per night.
There are several possible ways that sleep deprivation could increase the chances of becoming obese. (1) Sleep-deprived people may be too tired to exercise, decreasing the “calories burned” side of the weight-change equation. Or people who don’t get enough sleep may take in more calories than those who do, simply because they are awake longer and have more opportunities to eat; lack of sleep also disrupts the balance of key hormones that control appetite, so sleep-deprived people may be hungrier than those who get enough rest each night.”
What can you do to get a night of better sleep?
- Get a good mattress, a nice and firm bed
- Avoid caffeine, such as coffee, for a lot of people drinking coffee in the evening, will keep them awake for a long period of time
- Write down what you have to do the next day, that you won’t have to think about all the things you need to do the next day.
- Meditate, review what you’ve done for the day, give grace, make peace with yourself
- Silence: not everybody can sleep in a noisy place, turn off the light, the TV, avoid loud music
- Put your phone and other devices away, turn off the notifications on your phone, or turn it off if you can, that way you don’t get disturbed by unexpected phone calls, texts, and emails.
- Make sure that the temperature in your house is right, too hot or too cold can make you feel uncomfortable to fall and stay asleep
- Set up an alarm clock to wake you up, that way you don’t have to worry about when to get up in the morning for work.
1. Patel SR, Hu FB. Short sleep duration and weight gain: a systematic review. Obesity(Silver Spring). 2008; 16:643-53.
2. PatelSR, Malhotra A, White DP, Gottlieb DJ, Hu FB. Association between reduced sleep and weight gain in women. Am J Epidemiol.2006; 164:947-54.
3. Taveras EM, Gilliman MW, Pena MM, Redline S, Rifas Shiman SL. Chronic Sleep Curtailment and Adiposity. Pediatrics. 2014 Jun;133(6):1013-22