Skimping on Sleep

Skimping on sleep.

Before you pat yourself on the back for prepping meals into the wee hours of the night or waking before dawn for a drowsy workout, know that your scant sleep could be sabotaging your weight-loss goals. According to Dr. Caroline Apovian, director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at the Boston Medical Center, adults who sleep less than seven hours per night are 30 to 80 percent more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, hypertension and type 2 diabetes as those who sleep eight hours or more.

“Research has shown that lack of sleep may be a potential contributor to weight gain and the growing obesity epidemic, as it causes disruptions to a number of hormonal and metabolic processes,” says Jessica Matthews, senior advisor for health and fitness education for the American Council on Exercise. A research study conducted at the University of Chicago found that partial sleep deprivation can lead to increased appetite, as the circulating levels of hormones that regulate hunger are altered by decreases in shuteye. To keep your weight-loss efforts on track and to support your overall health and well-being, Matthews recommends devoting at least a solid seven to eight hours per night to good, quality sleep.

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