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:
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