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Can’t Lose Weight? Get More Sleep!

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Weight Loss related image Photo: Getty Images

Your alarm goes off at 6:00AM on a Monday morning and you realize you’ve only been in bed for 5 hours. You just had to finish watching the movie you rented, so you could turn it back in today. That’s okay. You have survived on less sleep in the past. You’ll be fine.

You drag yourself into work, plop down in your chair, and before you get a chance to put your purse away, one of your co-workers stops by with a big box of donuts.

The 6 month struggle to lose 5 pounds is a distant memory now.  Your gaze falls upon the delectable assortment of chocolate-covered donuts with confetti sprinkles. Oh, and there’s a jelly one with the yummy white powder. But, you decide to go for the healthiest one in the bunch, the apple-filled glazed turnover. Hey, at least you’ll get one daily fruit allowance, right? Wrong!

Suddenly, your will power has gone out the window. You were finally able to zip up those new jeans you bought. Why didn’t you think about that, huh? Because you’re too busy scarfing down that donut, that’s why.

According to new research presented in Minneapolis, Minn., at Sleep 2011, the 25th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC (APSS), daytime sleepiness may affect the way you view high-calorie foods. You might be eating the wrong foods just because you’re tired.

An article recently reprinted by ScienceDaily from materials provided by American Academy of Sleep Medicine, reported that research studies have shown people who are sleepy during the day have more trouble turning down highly appetizing, high-caloric foods.

Principal investigator, William Killgore, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass stated, "It suggests that even normal fluctuations in sleepiness may be capable of altering brain responses that are important for regulating dietary intake, potentially affecting the types of choices that individuals make when selecting whether and what to eat."

There may also be a connection with the rising rate of obesity in the U.S. and the fact that almost one in five Americans suffer moderate to excessive sleep deprivation. And guess what? Research shows that women are much more affected by this problem than men.

It’s extremely difficult for the most rational and healthy woman to lose weight. So, before you decide to stay up late on a work night, think about how it will affect your eating habits tomorrow.

Sleepiness May Impair the Brain's Inhibitory Control When Viewing High-Calorie Foods

Sleepiness Makes Fatty Foods Extra Tempting by Cari Nierenberg

Many Americans Sleep Deprived: Study

Reviewed July 18, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg R.N.
Edited by Shannon Koehle

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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