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The link between sleep, cortisol, stress and weight gain is well known. But a re-analysis of previous research by King’s College University in London has pinpointed just how damaging lack of sleep can be. Can lack of sleep make you fat? Oh yes. In fact, having a poor night’s sleep leads people to consume, on average, 385 extra calories the following day. The study, led by Dr Girda Pot (actual name), defined bad sleep as a night with less than 5 ½ hours sleep. The researchers confirmed that lack of sleep can make you fat through disruption of hormone regulation, in particular ghrelin and leptin. These hormones are responsible for controlling feelings of hunger and satiety respectively.
“If long term sleep deprivation continues to result in an increased calorie intake of this magnitude, it may contribute to weight gain” said Dr Pot.
The study confirmed previous studies’ results showing that lack of sleep can make you fat.
So try to get at least a good 7 hours sleep. How? We’ve got a blog for that! Simple tips are: switch tablets, computers and phones off. Research shows that using these before bed will stimulate the brain, making dropping off difficult. Keeping the room cool can also help, as can a good mattress that suits your posture and preference. A good pillow, like memory foam can also be helpful in sending you off to the land of nod. Try to eat reasonably early, so that the process of digestion is finished by the time you go to bed and try to avoid high intensity interval training in the evening – this will produce endorphins that will keep you alert and awake later than you might want. Some also swear by lavender oil or dried lavender to soothe you to sleep.