Please enjoy this guest post by dietetic intern, Bree Lanclos

Weight Management & Sleep

Most people know that eating healthy and exercise are keys to a healthy weight, but have you thought about sleep? Sleep deprivation reduces the calories you burn and how active you are. One might think that experiencing less hours of sleep would mean that you would be more active, but that extra time awake is spent doing sedentary activities to compensate for the lack of sleep. Studies have shown that lack of sleep increases food purchasing of more calorically dense foods. Sleep deprivation also interferes with hormones that regulate weight. It increases ghrelin which is our hunger hormone. Keeping all of these things in mind, it is no surprise that lack of sleep increases the risk of obesity and heart disease. Sleep is a very important part of a healthy lifestyle and should be considered just as integral as a healthy diet and exercise.

Fig 1


So, how many hours do you need?

Fig 2

Tips for Getting a Better Night’s Sleep

  • Stick to a sleep schedule:
  • Avoid exercise late in the day.
  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine.
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed.
  • Avoid large meals and beverages late at night.
  • Avoid medications that delay or disrupt your sleep.
  • Don’t take naps after 3 in the afternoon.
  • Relax before bed.
  • Take a hot bath before bed.
  • Remove distractions from your sleeping environment.
  • Get enough sunlight exposure.
  • Don’t lie in bed awake.
  • See a doctor if you continue to have trouble sleeping.

Written by: Bree Lanclos, BS, Dietetic Intern 2016, Lamar University