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Restore Sleep Debt & Burn More Calories

Restore Sleep Debt & Burn More Calories

Want to burn more calories during the day? Hit the snooze button.

Seriously. Recent research shows how sleep debt does more than foster cappuccino cravings. A lack of slumber may also increase your risk for weight gain -- even if you're not overeating.

Sleepless and Sinking
In a study, middle-aged women who slept 5 hours or less per night gained more weight than the women getting 7 or more hours of shut-eye nightly. And the sleepless set was at much higher risk of gaining significant weight -- as much as 33 pounds -- during the 16-year study. Whoa! Women who slept 6 or fewer hours nightly also tended to gain a bit more weight than the 7-hour sleepers.

Haywire Hormones
The truly big surprise of the study? The short sleepers weren't raiding the cookie jar. In fact, they took in about 50 fewer calories than their skinnier, longer-sleeping peers. All of which left the researchers to speculate that sleep debt may somehow depress metabolism, so people burn fewer calories around the clock. Missing out on deep, restorative REM sleep could also alter hormones in as yet undiscovered ways linked to higher body weights. Better hit the hay happy -- and sleep better -- with these steps:

Getting enough sleep every night will not only provide plenty of health benefits, but it will also help you burn more calories without lifting a finger. So, go back to sleep!

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

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