Your weight and how well you sleep at night may be closely connected.
Sleep deficiency is linked to many health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity.
Researchers have found that sleeping for short periods of time – instead of the seven to eight hours we need as adults – causes metabolic changes that may be linked to obesity. Additionally, other studies show an association between being overweight and short sleep times. It’s particularly troublesome for children. Not getting enough sleep when you’re young can harm the region of the brain that regulates appetite and energy expenditure.
People who don’t sleep enough every night also face a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes. In fact, recent research suggests that improving how long you sleep and the quality of your sleep may help improve your blood sugar control if you have type 2 diabetes.
Without a doubt, if you routinely don’t get enough sleep, the health effects can take a toll. Napping won’t help either because it doesn’t provide the same benefits of night-time sleep.
To help people figure out if they have a problem with sleep, federal health authorities suggest looking at how sleepy you feel during the day.
You might be sleep deficient if you often feel like you could doze off while:
- Sitting and reading or watching TV
- Sitting still in a public place, such as a movie theater, meeting, or classroom
- Riding in a car for an hour without stopping
- Sitting and talking to someone
- Sitting quietly after lunch
- Sitting in traffic for a few minutes
Make sure to talk to your doctor if you believe you’re not sleeping enough or getting quality sleep. Not getting enough sleep can affect your weight-loss efforts.
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute
+ Do you need help losing weight? The weight loss specialists at Bon Secours Weight Loss Institute can help you safely reach your long-term weight loss goals.