Your sleeping habits can affect your efforts to lose weight and stay healthy. New research has found that poor sleeping habits cause weight gain or a greater body mass index (BMI). 

Sleep Habits and Weight Gain

CNN reports that not getting enough sleep or consistently poor sleep makes appetite control harder. If you can’t control your appetite, you’ll end up overeating. Overeating can lead to severe health problems, like obesity, heart disease, hypertension, and Type 2 diabetes.

A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggested that people with BMI values of 30 plus had fewer sleeping hours. The CDC considers a BMI of 30 as obese.  

How the Sleep Study Went

For the study, experts used sleep apps on smartphones and smartwatches to track the subjects’ sleeping hours. They also studied the sleep quality of 120,000 people for nearly two years.

Their study found that people with BMIs of 30 experienced 15 minutes less sleep than people with lower BMIs. From their results, the experts also found that sleep duration and patterns vary among people.

However, the experts didn’t include naps in their data. They also did not look at the peoples’ health conditions and economic backgrounds.  

The Link Between Sleep and Appetite

When you sleep poorly, your body ramps up production of the ghrelin hormone. On the other hand, your body lowers the production of leptin, another hormone. According to the CNN report, leptin suppresses your appetite, while ghrelin does the opposite.

To manage your appetite, experts suggest getting a full seven to 10 hours of sleep each night. Also, set a regular bedtime and wake-up time, even on weekends.

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