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The Sleep-Weight Connection

Sleepy person yawning

Missing out on quality sleep can affect many areas of your health, including your weight. Being short on sleep sets your brain up to make unhealthy decisions the following day. After a night of poor sleep, the reward center in your brain goes into overdrive, looking for something to provide a feeling of euphoria. This can lead to cravings for high-carbohydrate snacks, bigger portions, and overall increased food intake. If you want to better manage your weight, it might be time to prioritize quality sleep.

These habits can help you sleep better and have more control over your weight.

Stick to a schedule.  Aim for a regular bed and rising time so the body knows when to expect sleep.  Avoid naps after 3 p.m.

Unplug.  Avoid bright lights, phones, computers, and TV for an hour before bed.

Limit alcohol. You may fall asleep faster, but alcohol reduces the amount of deep sleep causing you to sleep lighter and wake more often throughout the night.

Avoid food right before bed. Eating late causes your body to digest food while you’re sleeping which can prevent you from getting into deep phases of sleep.

Get help.  If sleep doesn’t improve and is impacting your health, talk with you doctor about options to help you get back on track.