There was a time when I could sleep for hours and hours. But it seems the last two decades, sleep some nights is as elusive as a mansion on the ocean.
And now it seems that could be why I have a hard time losing weight. IT REALLY IS NOT MY FAULT!
It's all about two little hormones -- leptin and ghrelin. Have you ever tossed and turned one night and found yourself eating everything in sight the next day? Those two little devils are at play.
Ghrelin, produced in the gastrointestinal track, stimulates appetite. Leptin, produced in the fat cells, signals your brain that you're full. Not enough sleep drives leptin levels down, so no matter what you eat, you won't feel satisfied. Ghrelin levels go up, so you want to eat.
In simple terms: You're brain is screaming "feed me, feed me!" And in many cases, I do. And when I eat too much, I gain weight.
The really scary part is that the latest study says this happens in people who don't get eight hours of sleep each night. EIGHT HOURS? The last time I slept eight hours in one night I had the flu. If I average six hours a night I think I am doing well. I am in the danger zone, because the study found those who slept between 5 1/2 and seven hours were most at risk.
Perhaps the real key to losing weight is a good sleeping pill? I've been known to try worse things....