Is Sleep Making you Gain Weight?

Busy schedules, kids activities, homework, housework, volunteering, PTO, Church, Community organizations, paying bills and working…  Our days seem to keep getting more and more full as each one passes.


The days begin earlier and last later into the evening as we try to fit it all in…  What is the cost of our decreased sleep?

A lack of sleep can contribute to an increasing waist line as well as other diseases and ailments, but how?

Lack of Sleep Changes Hormone Levels in the Body.

 Hormones direct our bodies and make the many systems work. When we are sleep deprived those hormone levels are affected and our body doesn’t work at optimum  levels.

These upset hormone levels make sleep-deprived people hungrier.Sleep_deprived_hormones

Awake More Hours = More Time to Eat More Calories

When we spend more time awake, we have more time to shovel more calories into our mouths. Our bodies are designed to work best with 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

When we begin forcing 30 hours of activities in 24 hours it is easy to slip into auto-pilot as we are working through everything.  The mindset of auto-pilot causes us to shovel unknown amounts of non-health promoting foods into our mouths.  Mindful Based Stress Reduction classes can assist in learning to remain mindful about foods, activities, stresses, and life in general to prevent the mindless eating that causes so much havoc on our bodies.

Short Sleepers are 30% More Likely to Gain 30 Pounds.

The Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, of 60,000 women who were followed for over 16 years found that women who got 5 hours or less of sleep per day were 15% more likely to become obese and were 30% more likely to gain 30 pounds over the course of the study than those who slept 7-8 hours per day.

Also, those sleep deprived found that the tiredness reduced their will to exercise and burn off the calories.

Lack of Sleep is a Stressor

People lacking sleep have added stress on the body. Stress releases cortisol and other hormones that add to weight gain around the middle. Visceral fat, the bad stuff that contributes to heart disease and diabetes.

High levels of Cortisol lead to the continual need to eat more high-calorie foods which in turn lead to being overweight or obese-due to increased caloric intake. People who stressed eat, not only to feel better when they are stressed, anxious, and depressed, they are actually propelled to eating more by the stress hormones.

Glucose Metabolism is Impaired

According to the 1999 study at the University of Chicago, restricting sleep to 4 hours for just six nights impaired glucose metabolism.  Impaired = Slowed.  It takes much more insulin to maintain the body’s blood sugar levels.

Lack of Sleep isn’t the only Problem

Lack of sleep is not the only reason why people gain weight/fat, develop heart diseases, diabetes, and other diseases, but research definitely points to the fact that it doesn’t make it any easier to maintain a healthy weight.

Lack of Sleep

After walking Relay for Life this past weekend and only getting 4 total hours of sleep between Saturday morning and Sunday night, I can attest to the fact that I DID eat more, I did find myself craving foods, and it is taking me time to balance my system after the abuse of the weekend. I am thankful that Bill stopped in to walk an hour for me.

For more information or coaching opportunities, contact me.

Make it a GREAT day!

Find a Friend–Lose Fat 4 Life

I have seen many people struggling to improve their health and lose weight, but seem to fall off the proverbial wagon. These people seem to have tried everything out there… alone.

Research has shown us time an time again that working with a partner or a team of like minded individuals increases the success rates and can also provide that “little something” needed to keep you on track and help with long term success too.  I have included a few articles with the information at the end of this blog article.


Having fought the weight monster and won, I understand the battle, the challenges, as well as many different techniques work for different people.  My goal, as a Lifestyle Coach is to provide you with ways and means to reach YOUR GOALS and then maintain them.

For this reason I offer many different options to provide you with the synergy of a group.

I am now offering Group Coaching on a weekly basis. Tuesdays in Bonita Springs and Fridays in Fort Myers at lunch to provide my clients with the support of my coaching as well as others also looking to improve their own personal health.

I am also offering a Walking Club 2x per month through Your Life Enrichment Center – 2nd Thursday of the month at Estero Community Center Park & the 4th Thursday of the month at Lake’s Park in Fort Myers.

I will be offering 2 3-day 60-mile training walks per month in order to ramp up to an October event date.  We will begin with shorter walks and tips for staying healthy and ramp up the mileage as our event date approaches.

I am offering a Muscle Reset Stretching class twice a week. Today’s lifestyles don’t allow for our muscles to be stretched and moved as our bodies are designed.  Hours at the computer, on the couch, or driving places do not allow our muscles to be worked as they were designed and can cause a lot of pain in our bodies.  By focusing our attention on specific stretching techniques we can discover greater relief and move easier on a daily basis.

For more information you can contact me or check out my Facebook Page The Healthy Grease Monkey. 


How social support can help you lose weight – American Psychological Association

Among those recruited with friends and given SBT plus social support, 95% completed treatment and 66% maintained their weight loss in full. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)”

Two-thirds of those who enrolled with friends had kept their weight off six months after the meetings ended. In contrast, only a quarter of those who attended on their own had achieved that same success.”

Choosing a Weight Loss Buddy,Teaming up is more fun, and it may even help you shed more pounds. – Web MD

Shafran, who also hosts Dr. Fitness and the Fat Guy, an Internet radio show focusing on weight loss, says people fail not necessarily because they’re following a bad weight loss plan, but because they lack a good support system.

"It can be the deciding factor that makes a diet work — or not work," say Shafran.”

Could friends and family hold the key to successful weight loss? – Yahoo Health

Better yet, the results seemed to stick. At a 16-month follow up, a majority of the group participants had kept the weight off and their blood pressure down.”

How your friends make you fat—the social network of weight  – Harvard Health Publications

There are, of course, many reasons why people gain weight, and the Arizona State study provides only one possibility. But it also provides another motivation for each of us to make healthy choices—they help not only our own waistlines, but those of our friends and family, too.”