It’s no wonder we feel a little sluggish in the morning when we don’t get enough sleep. Researchers say losing one night of sleep can slow down your metabolism – causing you to burn calories more slowly than usual.
The findings, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, add to the growing body of research that highlights the importance of getting proper rest. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults sleep between 7 and 9 hours a night. But about one-third of Americans do not sleep the recommended seven to nine hours every night, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Recent studies have also found that sleep can be linked to diabetes. Chronic sleep deprivation can cause high levels of cortisol – a stress hormone – which promotes insulin resistance. Another study from the University of North Texas found that people who suffer from a sleep disorder often have depression. Although it’s unclear if depression causes the sleep disorder or if the disorder causes depression.
For the study on metabolism, researchers studied the effects of varying sleep hours on 14 healthy male college students. They measured any differences in how much they ate and their levels of hormones and blood sugar.
Missing one night of sleep affected how much energy they burned the next morning by 5 to 20 percent.
To improve your sleep habits, health professionals recommend giving your body at least three hours to cool down from working out before you go to bed. It also helps to avoid drinking caffeine in the afternoon or evening. Do not drink alcohol, which may make you feel sleepy but prevent you from getting deep sleep.
Try to stick to a bedtime schedule. Get up at the same time every day. It helps create a natural sleep pattern.
If you wake up repeatedly at night or can’t sleep because of snoring, consult a sleep specialist.
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