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Diet and exercise are always on the menu when it comes to losing weight, but did you know you can lose weight while you sleep? If that’s the case, you need to make certain your sleep is as productive as it can be.

It might sound like infomercial material, but the connection between the quality of your sleep and the hormonal activity tied to your appetite has been researched by physicians at the Sleep Medicine Program at the New York University School of Medicine.  Doctors have known that hormones are affected by sleep but they’ve also discovered that appetite entered the equation because of the hormones leptin and ghrelin; both hormones influence the appetite. And studies have shown the body’s production of those hormones may be influenced by how much – or how little — sleep we get.

Anyone who has ever experienced a sleepless night followed by a day when nothing satisfies your appetite has likely experienced the workings of leptin and ghrelin; these hormones perform a check and balance in the system to control your feelings of hunger and fullness, a study from the Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine found.

Doctors at the University of Chicago and Stanford University studied the connection between lack of sleep, these two hormones, and appetite levels with the end result being that when sleep was restricted, the two hormone levels rose and, not surprisingly, the appetites of the individuals in the study rose.

Individuals who slept less than eight hours a night not only had lower levels of leptin and higher levels of ghrelin, but they also had a higher level of body fat. What’s more, that level of body fat seemed to correlate with their sleep patterns. Specifically, those who slept the fewest hours per night weighed the most.

Want to make sure you’re getting the type of sleep that might help you lose, or maintain your weight? Try these seven tips to a more productive sleep:

  • Develop relaxing bedtime rituals
  • Create a better sleep environment
  • Get stress and anxiety under control
  • Train yourself to get back to sleep
  • Improve your diet
  • Optimize your sleep schedule
  • Get regular exercise

Since 2002, Valley Sleep Center has provided Arizona residents with diagnostic sleep disorder testing in a home-like atmosphere, ensuring a comfortable, relaxing experience for patients. Their physicians are Board Certified Sleep Medicine Specialists and they are accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. They provide diagnostic testing for a multitude of sleep related disorders including insomnia, sleep apnea, snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, hypertension, sleepwalking, and pediatric sleep problems. For  more information contact Lauri Leadley at 480-830-3900 or visit: http://www.valleysleepcenter.com.
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"I was especially impressed with Andrew the Respiratory Therapist who reviewed my study with me and answered my questions. Andrew thoroughly explained everything about the Cpap machine-from start to finish. I never felt rushed and was assured I could contact him with any additional questions or needs. Andrew told me he would follow up with a call in a week and he did. I believe this center performed the study appropriately and the added benefit of having Andrew teach me about the machine and what to expect was a bonus."

Candace M.

Scottsdale, AZ

"I recommend them highly!! I took my 2 year old daughter for a sleep study and was very impressed. Our sleep technician was amazing with her, very patient and kind. The DVD we brought to watch while getting her hooked up got stuck in the TV and they vowed to return it. We got a call the next day checking on our daughter and saying how sweet she was, they mentioned the DVD. Several days later, we received the DVD plus a new copy of the Lion King with a nice note. They are very good at what they do and if they can make a 2 year old feel at ease, they can probably do the same with anyone!!"

Anthea S.

Tempe, AZ

"Great staff, they make you feel so at home. Every medical facility should be this nice. Felt like a nice hotel. Someone has great taste in decorating. Thanks for making us feel at home."

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San Diego, CA