Did you know that the quality of your sleep and your weight are connected? It's true. Research has shown that people who get five or fewer hours of quality sleep each night have a significantly higher risk of obesity than people who get seven to eight hours a night.
Why? Disordered sleep affects your body in many ways. When it comes to your weight, lack of sleep can increase levels of the hormone leptin in your blood, leaving you hungrier and more likely to snack. Lack of sleep also stresses the body, causing it to process and store glucose differently. Of course, it is also hard to plan and prepare healthy meals or commit to being more active if you are tired all the time. In other words, not getting good sleep is hazardous to your weight! So if you're not getting seven to eight hours a night of high-quality shut-eye now, try these tips for better sleep:
• Take the TV out of the bedroom. You should be sleeping, not watching television late into the night.
• Avoid caffeine and alcohol near bedtime. Both lead to lower quality sleep.
• Don't exercise within 30 minutes of your bedtime — doing so may make it more difficult to fall asleep. However, getting regular exercise earlier in the day will promote better rest