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Lack of Sleep Contributes to Weight Gain

If you're trying to lose weight, high-calorie foods and lack of exercise aren't your only enemies. Lack of sleep is, too. Sleep study experts have found a connection between sleep deprivation and weight gain. One study revealed that men and women who slept less than six hours a night were more likely to gain 11 pounds compared with those who slept the recommended seven to nine hours a night.

It's believed that those who routinely suffer from a lack of sleep have increased levels of the ghrelin hormone-which triggers hunger-and decreased levels of the leptin hormone-which signals fullness. As a result, during the day, they tend to consume approximately 300 more calories than those who get enough sleep and typically reach for unhealthy, high-fat foods. People who are tired during the day tend to snack more often on foods that give them a boost, such as sugar-filled treats. In addition to ghrelin and leptin, there are other hormones that scientists believe are involved in appetite regulation. Endocannabinoids are hormones that peak during the afternoon in those who are sleep deprived and they promote what's called "hedonic eating," or eating for pleasure.

Another contributing factor to weight gain is the connection between lack of sleep and feeling rundown and tired. Without the energy, many aren't motivated to get in their daily workouts, and the cycle of eating more and less exercising takes on the snowball effect.

For those looking to lower and maintain a healthy weight, getting enough shuteye is as crucial as diet and exercise. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get between seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Adopting certain habits can help you fall asleep and stay asleep, such as going to bed at the same time at night and waking up at the same time in the morning; paying attention to what you eat and drink (such as avoiding caffeine hours before bedtime); and getting comfortable. The right pillows and bedding go a long way in keeping you comfortable. Products made from Outlast technology excel at absorbing, storing and releasing excess heat for temperature-regulated night of peaceful sleep.

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