I’m Tired; Give Me a Cookie (Sleep Deprivation and Appetite)

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I didn't get very much sleep last night.  My dog, Sugar, took over my side of the bed and I also woke up at 3:45 AM with a song stuck in my head (the song was "The Dog Days Are Over," ironic!)  For a girl who feels best after getting a solid 9 hours of sleep each night, it didn't make for a great start to my day. 

While one day of sleep deprivation is not going to make or break me, I'm always surprised when I hear tales of people consistently functioning on minimal amounts of shut-eye.  I often hear reports of sleeping only 5 to 6 hours each night.  We may not realize that sleep deprivation can rev up the appetite, interfering with healthy weight loss goals.

Research suggests that less sleep equals more body weight.  This can even be a factor causing weight gain in babies.  The problem may stem from sleep deprivation's affect on hormones that regulate appetite.  The sleep deprived are usually hungrier and more likely to experience carbohydrate cravings. 

The other problem I experience is difficulty with physical activity when I'm sleep deprived.  It's tough enough to avoid the snooze button at 5:30 AM when I've had enough sleep, let alone after a restless night.  Getting up to workout can easily get put on the back burner to pushing "snooze" every 9 minutes.  If I do drag myself out of bed, chances are I won't be functioning at 100% for that workout.

Adequate sleep keeps us healthy in many ways.  Before the light bulb was invented people slept an average of 9 to 10 hours each night!  How much sleep do you get each night?  What do you do to make adequate sleep a priority?

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