Is Insomnia Making You Fat?
If you’re not getting a good night’s sleep on a regular basis, it may be having a negative effect not only on your energy levels but also on your waistline.
In a study of more than 68,000 women over a period of 16 years, Harvard researchers found that those who got less sleep tended to gain more weight. In fact, women who slept five hours or less a night were 32 percent more likely to gain at least 33 pounds during the study period than those who slept seven to eight hours.
Here are some tips to help you get your full dose of rejuvenating (and slimming!) sleep:
• Reduce the caffeine in your diet, and don’t drink caffeinated beverages late in the afternoon or in the evening.
• Beware of excitotoxins that can rob you of sleep. Common excitotoxins include MSG and aspartame (which you should already be avoiding because of their other health-harming effects).
• Go easy on the alcohol. While booze initially makes you drowsy, it interrupts your sleep cycle later.
• Shut down. If you keep a computer and/or TV on in your bedroom, the light will keep your brain waves in the “awake” state.
• Get cozy. A relaxing cup of herbal tea with chamomile and valerian helps you ease into sleep.
• Try melatonin or L-tryptophan, natural supplements that promote deep, restful sleep.