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Geisinger becomes the first member of Risant Health

Could be because you are not getting enough sleep

Sleep deprivation may be sabotaging your weight loss and your health. Experts say that when you’re sleep deprived and have low energy, you’ll more likely reach for a bag of potato chips or other comfort foods. And when you make one bad decision it could lead to others, like skipping the gym and picking up takeout on your way home from work. Does this sound like you? Keep reading.

The amount of sleep you get each night significantly affects two important hormones that influence appetite in the human body. Ghrelin enhances appetite and can lead to weight gain. Leptin represses appetite and can support weight loss. A lack of sleep disturbs the hormonal balance, therefore, leading to an increase in ghrelin which can lead to weight gain.

If you need more sleep, here are our tips to getting at least 7-9 hours of rest each night:

  • Go to bed at the same time each night.
  • Avoid drinking a lot of fluids right before bedtime. This may cause multiple trips to the bathroom and sleep interruption.
  • Avoid caffeine. This may affect your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • Avoid alcohol. Initially, alcohol can have a sedative affect and help you fall asleep quickly, but it can cause a rapid heartbeat, sweating and nightmares later in the evening.
  • If you’re hungry before bedtime limit yourself to a low-fat dairy product and a simple carbohydrate. Milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes sleep. Carbohydrates promote the use of tryptophan in the brain. Some examples include a cracker with cheese or a bowl of cereal with milk. Avoid a heavy meal high in fat at least 2 hours before bed.
  • Avoid eating spicy foods. They can cause heartburn and gastrointestinal discomfort.
  • Get unplugged. Watching television, scrolling through social media and reading your emails are all stimulants. Relax by reading a book or writing in a journal.


Young woman hitting snooze button
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