You snooze you lose

Once again, you, like thousands of others across these obese United States seek to shed unwanted pounds.
You fought the battle of the bulge for years and still outgrew last year’s clothes. Don’t despair, there is still one more, super-easy weight loss tip to try: get off your duff – and go to bed.
Quit staying up late, watching re-runs and talking heads. Disappoint the television commercial makers – turn off their show, cash in on that investment you made in a mattress and get the eight or nine hours of sleep that your momma said you needed every night to be healthy.
Your momma was right, you need the sleep. You are staying up too late and you are finding it harder to maintain a healthy weight as a result, according to studies done at the University of Wisconsin and Stanford University.
Not getting enough sleep causes the body to release the hormone ghrelin and that is a BAD. Ghrelin is released by the stomach to stimulate hunger. In plan language, you could eat a cow you are so tired. When you stay up late, you end up not only sleepy, foggy brained and not at your best the next day, but you eat everything in sight, especially carbs. You know you just ate, but man! Your stomach is roaring for more food.
Your stomach lies. You don’t need food. You need sleep.
Now if you had gotten more sleep; if you had put in those recommended eight hours or more in dream land, your body would be rested. It would be satisfied and it would release a different kind of hormone called leptin which reduces your appetite. Ironically it is released by fat cells in the body. It’s as if all those pounds of unwanted, rested fat cells say, “thank you, but we don’t need more food.” Your fat cells are satisfied – and bingo! You lose weight.
You know it is true. How many times have you caught yourself at dark-thirty walking through the kitchen grabbing one more midnight snack to nosh while you watch yet another show? Skip the snack, skip the show and hit the sack.
Another the sleep and weight control correlation was published in the January 10, 2005 edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine. The study showed that men and women who were overweight or obese tended to sleep for a shorter amount of time each night compared with those with a normal body mass index (BMI). People with a normal BMI slept an average of 16 minutes longer each day.
In this era of overweight children, sleep is also good for kids – in two ways. When children lack sleep it not only messes with their body’s appestat, it also contributes to their inability to concentrate during the day – and it increases oppositional behavior, and restlessness. The teacher gets exasperated and decides your sleep deprived child has Attention Deficit Disorder. (Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, Sept. 1997).
So put your kid to bed earlier, enjoy the bonuses of more time to yourself and a more cooperative child who focuses on his studies. Plus, since neither of you does the couch potato act late into the night, you both lose weight.
Your momma was right. For a beautiful body and a beautiful mind, you need your beauty rest.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times, ‘turn of that TV Right Now and go to bed.’
In the morning your scales will bow down with lower numbers and thank you.
Enough, already, I’m tired. Time to grab some zzzz’s and lose some weight.
(Joan Hershberger is a reporter at the News-Times.)