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How does sleep affect my eating habits?

Lack of sleep may affect hunger-regulating hormones, which can lead to eating more food more often.

Cravings may increase for foods that are higher in added sugar, fat and sodium. Excessive intake of these nutrients can increase risk of developing health issues like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Inadequate sleep can also affect the way you think and the likelihood of grabbing quick/convenience foods and caffeine to "push through." Meeting your body's need for adequate sleep can mean you’re less likely to use food as a coping tool for fatigue.

Benefits of a good night's sleep:

  • Less likely to get sick
  • Boosts brain-power and mood
  • Clearer thinking and better concentration
  • Better decision-making and fewer injuries
  • Lower risk of high blood pressure and diabetes

How much sleep do I need?

The amount of sleep needed varies from person to person and throughout the lifespan. Most healthy adults function the best when they sleep a consistent 6-9 hours each night without interruption. Being in tune with your body’s cues can help you determine what amount of sleep your body and brain requires to function well and lead a fulfilling life.

Tips to fall asleep and stay asleep:

  • Go to bed at the same time every night.
  • Get the same amount of sleep each night.
  • Make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet.
  • Avoid eating, talking on the phone or watching TV in bed.
  • Plan your last meal/snack 2-3 hours before bedtime.
  • Stay away from caffeine (coffee, tea, soda, chocolate) late in the day
  • If you choose to nap, do it early in the day and limit to less than one hour.
  • Avoid alcohol 2-3 hours before bed.
  • Meditate. Breathe deeply and consistently and clear your mind.
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