Seven to nine hours of sleep is generally accepted as the amount necessary for optimum health. In addition, the people who get this much sleep tend to weigh less! Here’s why: the amount of sleep you get affects two key hormones that affect weight – ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin is known as the “hunger hormone” and is a peptide that increases appetite, causing weight gain. Leptin, on the other hand, is a hormone that represses appetite, resulting in weight loss. When sleep disturbances occur, there is an increase in ghrelin and a decrease in leptin – and you know what that means: sleep disturbances contribute to weight gain.
Here are some good sleep hygiene tips to keep in mind:
- Avoid napping during the day
- Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine and alcohol before bed
- Exercising promotes good sleep
- Eating before bed can be disruptive