The Screen-Sleep-Weight Connection

A study conducted by Columbia University found that sleep-deprived people eat about 300 more calories a day. And ice cream is one of their favorite go-to foods when tired!

Compared to well-rested folks, sleep-deprived people have higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates hunger, and lower levels of leptin, a fullness hormone. This hormonal imbalance leads to increased cravings, appetite and overeating, usually of high-fat and high-carb foods.  Think pastries, chips, cookies and fries.

There are many reasons for sleep deprivation. One major cause is evening screen time. Spending time on your computer (e.g., laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc.) or watching TV before bed interrupts your body's natural rhythms. The blue light emitted from these devices sends a signal to your brain to suppress production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. While all light can disrupt melatonin secretion, blue light has the most powerful impact.

In addition to weight gain, sleep deprivation can lead to obesity, diabetes, heart attacks, high blood pressure, depression, osteoporosis, cancer, reduced immune function and more.

Protect your health by powering down all e-gadgets two to three hours before hitting the hay.