You Snooze, You Lose… And Win.

Ask anyone what the secret to weight loss is and they’ll probably tell you it’s all about managing how many calories you consume. While that information is important, research has argued that we’re missing another valuable key in losing and keeping off excess weight. According to David Rapoport, MD, associate professor and director of the Sleep Medicine Program at the New York University School of Medicine in New York City, sleep or sleep deprivation can, in fact, influence weight by affecting the appetite. Essentially, when you snooze, you lose.

At the turn of the century American’s typically slept around 9 hours a night, ten years ago most people slumbered at least 7 hours per evening, and today we’re lucky if we can grab 6 hours of snoozing. It’s no coincidence that as the number of quality sleep hours drop, America’s weight problems rise. So what is the connection?

When a person is sleep deprived the body creates less of the hormone Leptin. Leptin is responsible for sending signals to the brain that the body is satisfied after eating. As a double whammy, the body creates more of the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates appetite. Essentially, sleep-deprivation results in greater hunger and a lowered capacity for the body to control hunger signals.

Surgeries like gastric-banding, gastric bypass, or the gastric sleeve are excellent tools for helping patients to lose weight, but it’s also important to incorporate life changes that will help you the maintain your new weight-loss after having bariatic surgery at CHRIAS. Here are a few suggestions for ensuring you get enough quality sleep to control hunger and support your metabolism:

Keep Caffeine for the Morning
Sure it’s easy to grab a cup during an afternoon crash, but drinking caffeine later in the day can disturb sleep cycles at night. Some reports have even suggested that too much caffeine can prevent your body from reaching deep, restorative levels of sleep.

Research from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden has found that “artificial light from TV and computer screens affects melatonin production and throws off circadian rhythms, preventing deep, restorative sleep.” To restore your body’s natural ability to sleep unplug from electronics at least an hour before bed.

Nosh Before Bed
A small snack before bed can help your body ease into a restful sleep. Avoid rich dishes or spicy foods that can aggravate reflux or stomach issues and reach for foods that are high in protein and have little fat. These will keep your blood-sugars level through the night. If you have questions about what to nibble, a visit with our dietitian can help answer any questions.

Support Groups
A good support group shouldn’t put you to sleep, but members might be able to offer helpful suggestions if you’re having trouble sleeping. Take advantage of the diverse community to learn different techniques about restful slumber.

At The Christiana Institute of Advanced Surgery, our focus is not only about helping you to achieve your weight loss goals, but helping you to create a new healthy lifestyle. To learn more about our weight loss surgery program in Delaware, sign up for a free seminar, or contact us at 302-892-9900.

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