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How Sleep Affects Weight

Learn how sleep affects weight in this Howcast video about obesity.


It's important to realize that sleep is very important to maintain a healthy weight.

Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain. What happens, if you're not getting close to 8 hours of sleep per night, the hormone called cortisol increases in your blood and this hormone is responsible for storing fat. So, as your cortisol levels go up because of lack of sleep, you can gain weight.

Another thing that happens when you don't have a lot of sleep is that your willpower to make healthy choices decreases. If you're exhausted during the day, that piece of candy looks a lot more attractive and you feel that you deserve it and so you're more likely to eat it. So, it's very important that you try to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night it's part of a healthy lifestyle to help not just lose weight but also to maintain a healthy weight.

So, while lack of sleep can lead to weight gain, people who suffer from obesity typically don't get a good night's sleep. And one of the main reasons for this is something called sleep apnea.

When you're overweight you can have sleep apnea and what happens is that while you're sleeping you actually stop breathing for periods of time and this leads to dangerously low oxygen saturations. And then when you wake up in the morning you're just not feeling as well rested. You also may wake up with a bad headache so, being overweight definitely affects the quality of sleep.

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