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I have been burning the candle at both ends since I was 15 years old, and I am 52 now. 
My weight battle started at 15. Hmmm?? Is there a correlation? I have done a lot of research on this subject and I am convinced that sleeping less, or erratic sleep schedules definitely can lead to weight gain, and worse yet, prevent weight loss. And, the most important information I have learned is how terrible sleep patterns can also promote Diabetes and other metabolic health issues. 
Sleep deprivation often has a staggering effect on hormones related to appetite and satiety. Levels of leptin, a hormone that suppresses the appetite, are reduced, while the levels of ghrelin, the appetite-stimulant hormone, are elevated. Therefore, these two hormones cannot accurately signal calorie need. 
When people stay up too late, they tend to start craving, especially higher carbohydrate foods. 
Sleep loss appears to also have a significant effect on the hypothalamic pituitary system and the autonomic nervous system. These changes then affect glucose metabolism and insulin resistance, which are both often a definitive step in the direction of type II diabetes and obesity. Furthermore, cutting short your ZZZ’s alters your growth hormone secretion pattern, reduces your thyroid-stimulating hormone levels, increases evening cortisol levels, increases sympathetic activity, and decreases parasympathetic activity, all of which negatively affect proper glucose metabolism. 
WOW! Talk about scary?? I AM this person. These issues are starting to hit me now that I am in my 50’s and I am about to make major changes in my own life to take ownership of these facts and make steps in the right direction to correct a lifetime of bad sleeping habits. 
I have read data that states getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night is a good goal. Sleeping is necessary for the body to rest, repair and rejuvenate. And, keeps cravings under control. 
Here are some coping mechanisms that have been shown to help people sleep better get more rest, and help with weight management. 
  1. Turn off the lights and the television, as well as electronics about an hour before your bedtime. 
  2. Drink some hot tea.
  3. Mediate or pray.
  4. Put yourself to bed at least an hour before you want to fall asleep. 
  5. Use some essential oils on your pillow to relax.
  6. Take a hot bath in Epsom salts. 
  7. Set a regular bedtime.
  8. Wake up at the same time everyday.
  9. Exercise daily. Try stretching or yoga. 
  10. Pay attention to what you eat and drink. Be wary of alcohol, cigarettes, and heavy foods. 


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