Weight Loss? Doctors Say Think Sleep

Millions of people say they are going to lose weight for their New Year's Resolution by exercising and eating right. But a good night's sleep may just help.

While most people begin dieting and exercising, few are aware of the benefits of a good night's sleep towards losing weight. Sleep loss can associate with changes in the hormones that regulate appetite. This may be a contributing factor towards obesity.

Studies in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggest that chronic sleep loss may increase hunger and affect the body's metabolism, which may make it more difficult to maintain or lose weight.

Doctors recommend eight hours of sleep a night for adults, but a poll by the National Sleep Foundation, less then one-third of adults get that much sleep on weeknights, possibly a contributing factor to America's weight problem.

Some recommendations for getting a better night's sleep include:

  • Don't go to bed hungry, but avoid eating a big meal just before bedtime.

  • Exercise regularly but do so at least three hours before bedtime

  • Go to bed and get up at the same time each day including weekends to establish a healthy sleep pattern.