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Lack of Sleep Causes Weight Gain

by Larrian Gillespie, MD

Tossing and turning all night could be the reason you're packing on the pounds, according to doctors at Baylor College of Medicine. Research has shown that sleep deprivation causes increased insulin resistance, which is a pre-diabetic condition. In addition, a lack of sleep directs a hormone called cortisol to take any excess calories and store them around the mid-section, creating that "Buddha Belly" I describe in my books.

Dr. Ken Goodrick says,"Some people think the change in sleep patterns in the United States and in the western industrialized world is one of the main reasons that we're becoming overweight." Exercise can prevent this, but if you're not getting enough sleep, you're going to be too tired to exercise. If you don't exercise, you don't feel as energetic, and also you don't sleep as well without exercise as you do if you exercise regularly.

So follow these 4 Keys for Getting a Good Night's Rest:

* Treat your bed as a place to sleep, not a couch for watching television.
* Turn the alarm clock around at night so the time doesn't face you
* Avoid taking naps during the day
* Cut back on caffeine

Goodrick says, "Sleep is a time for the brain, the body, and all the hormones to get regulated and restore themselves to the baseline values for the next day. If you have caffeine, or inadequate sleep, you don’t have a chance for all of those restorative processes get finished. So you're ending not quite fit, or metabolically where you should be." I might add that sleep is really the most active metabolic time, as your brain is "recharging" on the good sugars produced from healthy carbs in your diet.

Focus on getting those 6-8 hours of snooze a night and watch your appetite shrink, along with your weight. It could do a body good!

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