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Lose weight while you sleep

Well, maybe not exactly, but more and more research shows that not getting adequate sleep each night is a risk factor for obesity. Lack of sleep has a negative effect on the hormone leptin, whose function is to control appetite. Sleep deprivation results in lower levels of the hormone circulating in our bodies. We register this biological happening by feeling like we are more hungry and thereby eating more. Additionally, low levels of leptin have been associated with obesity.

Even though it’s a badge of honor in our culture to say that we get by on 5 or 6 hours of sleep each night, this seeming feat is actually working against us. Perhaps getting adequate sleep, or about 8 hours of sleep each night, should help us start to lose weight.

March 17th, 2008

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