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Resource Center — Sleep Center

Lack of Sleep and Weight Gain Connection Found by Researchers

Could lack of sleep be causing you to gain weight?  According to researchers the answer is yes.

That may be one-reason recliner bed manufacturers have seen double-digit growth in sales of adjustable beds over the past several years.  Learn more about how adjustable bed mattress companies are helping American consumers find better quality sleep at the end of this article.

Poor Sleep Can Make You Hungry

In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared insufficient sleep a public health epidemic – and one of the most alarming by-products of this nationwide problem may just be unwanted weight gain.

New research in the Journal of Health Psychology suggests that disrupted sleep does more than make you cranky and tired — it makes you hungry, too. And that could be one factor contributing to weight gain in both adults and children.

Researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln found that after a rough night’s sleep, the hormone that controls appetite is impaired, emotional stress is higher, and people crave calories in order to compensate for a lack of energy. In addition, people who sleep poorly have impaired impulse control, making that bag of M&M’s in the vending machine much more attractive. And another study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found sub-par sleep could undermine weight loss by as much as 55 percent!

In a recent USA Today article, Eve Van Cauter, director of the Sleep, Metabolism and Health Center at the University of Chicago, told the newspaper “there is no doubt that insufficient sleep promotes hunger and appetite, which can cause excessive food intake resulting in weight gain.” Van Cauter has spent 15 years studying the topic.

Sleep deprivation probably affects every process in the body, she says. “Our body is not wired for sleep deprivation. The human is the only mammal that does this.”

Her research and that of others may help explain why so many people who are chronically sleep-deprived also are overweight, and it could be part of the reason sleepy college students, new parents and shift workers pack on pounds.

Lack of Sleep Increases Food Consumption

According to the USA Today story studies have shown that when people don’t get enough sleep they:

  • Have increased levels of a hunger hormone called ghrelin and decreased levels of the satiety/fullness hormone called leptin, which could lead to overeating and weight gain.
  • Consume about 300 calories a day more than when they are well rested. Overall, most of the extra calories came from high-fat foods.
  • Snack more and do less physical activity.
  • Eat more than what is needed to cover the energy cost of staying awake longer, especially at night, which can lead to significant weight gain.

The USA Today article continued by stating that research has shown that when study participants didn’t get enough sleep for five days, they consumed more carbohydrates and gained nearly 2 pounds in that time. “When people are sleepy, they make poor food choices and are more likely to eat more than they need,” says Kenneth Wright, director of sleep and chronobiology laboratory at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

When those folks got enough sleep, they reduced their intake of both carbohydrates and fats, Wright says.

Other research shows that too little sleep also plays havoc with your fat cells, which could lead to weight gain and that making sure you get enough sleep will help fight a genetic predisposition to gain weight.

Van Cauter says sleep deprivation affects the body in many different ways. For instance, it activates a small part of the hypothalamus, the region of the brain that also is involved in appetite regulation. In addition to ghrelin and leptin, there are many other hormones involved in appetite regulation that sleep deprivation may affect, she says. “We are looking at endocannabinoids, which are increased in the afternoon in people who are sleep-deprived. These hormones promote eating for pleasure, which is called ‘hedonic eating.’”

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Personalize Your Sleep with an Adjustable Bed to Sleep Longer and Better

So now you know what your sleepless nights may be doing to your body and your health. Do you see yourself and your eating patterns in this article?  If so, Easy Rest is an adjustable bed manufacturer that just may have a solution for you.

Do you toss and turn trying to find just the right position that is comfortable enough for sleep?  Do you pile mountains of pillows under your head or legs but they just don’t stay put?  Do you have aches and pains that keep you up all night because you can’t find relief from the pain?

An Easy Rest adjustable bed with therapeutic mattress can adjust to more than 1,001 relaxing and individualized positions for finding the right sleep position for you.  Our adjustable bed with remote controls allow you to raise or lower the head and foot sections of the bed to take pressure off of painful areas thereby allowing you to fall back to sleep faster and easier.

Several of our models feature an adjustable bed remote control that allows you to easily activate our relaxing massage feature that will help you melt away the cares of the day and lull you to sleep gently.

In addition to helping you find the perfect position for sleep an Easy Rest adjustable bed mattress may help you find temporary relief from a variety of health issues.  Doctors prescribe adjustable beds to their patients every day to help with a multitude of illnesses or issues.  Specifically an adjustable bed may help you find temporary relief from the following:

  • Low Back Pain
  • Edema or Swelling of the Legs
  • Poor local Blood Circulation of the Legs
  • Hiatal Hernia
  • Acid Reflux
  • Nighttime Heartburn
  • Light and Occasional Snoring
  • Minor Aches and Pains due to Muscular Fatigue or Overexertion

The optional heating accessory may provide temporary relief from Mild Arthritis and Joint Pain as well as Muscle Pain associated with stress and tension.  What health issues do you suffer from that might be helped by raising your head or feet at night?

To learn more about Easy Rest’s line of best electric beds on the market today, simply click the button “Request Information” at the left to get started and to download our FREE color catalog and Better Sleep Guide.  Do it today, your body and your waistline will be glad you did!