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Peterson Regional Medical Center
551 Hill Country Drive Kerrville, TX 78028 | 830-896-4200
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Did you know that the amount of sleep you get each night may be hampering your ability to lose weight?

A number of studies have found a strong connection between lack of sleep and increased weight gain. If you're not getting seven to nine hours of sleep a night, it's time to take action.

Poor Sleep Throws Your System Off
Researchers found that getting too little sleep boosts your appetite and changes your metabolism. How? When the body is deprived of sleep, it alters the level of key hormones. Leptin, the hormone that suppresses appetite, is reduced and ghrelin, an appetite-stimulating hormone, is boosted. Working together, these cause sleep-deprived people to experience food cravings. What's more, the brain views the drop in leptin as a signal that the body is starving and slows its metabolism to conserve calories.

5 Steps for Better Shut-eye
Studies show that getting less than seven hours of sleep at night can affect weight gain. Although the amount of sleep people need varies somewhat, most experts recommend adults get seven to nine hours every night.

If you have trouble sleeping, try these five tactics:
1. Establish a sleep-wake cycle by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, even on weekends.
2. Increase exercise levels during the day, but refrain from physical activity at least three hours before bedtime.
3. If you nap, keep it to less than one hour and don't nap after 3 p.m.
4. Stay away from caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine for six to eight hours before sleep.
5. Create a relaxing bedtime routine. Take a warm bath, read for 30 minutes, or listen to soft music.

If these tips don't help get your sleep back on track- or if you still feel sleepy during the day despite a full night's rest - call your doctor. You may have a sleep disorder.

Suspect Sleep Problems?
Learning what's keeping you from sleeping soundly can be a dream come true. Our Sleep Lab is a comfortable, hotel-like setting that is available for diagnosis sleep testing. Call our Sleep Lab for consultation or information at 830-928-6777.