Healthy Living

Sleeping Your Way To Trim

Everything you need to know to improve your ZZZs.
03/23/2016 02:25pm ET

While it's recommended that you get at least 7 hours of slumber nightly, more than one-third of American adults are not getting enough sleep, based on a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chronically getting less than 7 hours of sleep daily is not only associated with the likelihood of having high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, mental distress and even dying, but also being obese, according to the CDC.

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Research has shown that sleep deprivation is associated with increased feelings of hunger and a higher body weight, which may be related to a shift in the hormones ghrelin and leptin. Sleep deprivation has been associated with higher levels of ghrelin in the body, which stimulates hunger. At the same time, being tired lowers levels of leptin in the body, which suppresses your appetite. This shift in hormones isn't very kind to your waist.

To improve your sleep and your waist, try three diet tips from the National Institutes of Health:

Skip the large meals and beverages late at night. Eating a big meal before turning in may cause indigestion and also make you feel uncomfortably full when lying down. Drinking too may fluids in the evening may cause your bladder to wake you up in the middle of the night remind you to make a trip to the bathroom to empty it.

Avoid alcoholic drinks in the evening. It's a myth that alcohol is a sleeping aid. While having a drink before bed may help you fall asleep sooner, it will also disrupt your nightly sleep. Once the sedating effect of the alcohol wears off, you're likely to awaken. Trying to get back to sleep could become a horrifying nightmare. That glass or two of cabernet in the evening could have you feeling exhausted at your desk the next day.

Watch your caffeine intake during the day. The guzzling of caffeinated coffees, teas, energy drinks and sodas could continue to stimulate you even after you turn into bed. Because it can take up to 8 hours for the caffeine to wear off in your body, consider drinking non-caffeinated beverages after 12 p.m.

Getting adequate daily sleep may be one of the best ways for you to trim your waistline and improve your overall health.

Sleeping Your Way To Trim was originally published on U.S. Health News & World Report.

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