Menopause’s Best Kept Weight Loss Secret: Sleep!

Remember the good ole’ days when you crawled into bed under the shadow of the moon and didn’t wake until your alarm went off the next morning? Right now, you’re so tired you can’t see straight, yet falling asleep is a problem. Staying asleep is an issue, too. You can’t even remember the last time something didn’t wake you during the night.

Sleeping issues go hand in hand with menopause. Anxiety and depression can keep you from falling asleep. Bladder problems and night sweats wake you up several times a night. Then there’s insomnia interrupting your sleep cycle, your partner kicking you because you’ve started snoring, and you might have developed sleep apnea. No wonder you’re exhausted.

Your lack of sleep is doing more than making you tired during the day. It may also be responsible for some of those extra pounds around your middle.

Sleep deprivation can cause you to gain weight. The longer you go without deep and restful sleep, the bigger the problem.

Here’s why:

  1. If you’re tired, you’ll be less active and burn fewer calories.
  2. Your body may go into survival mode when you’re sleep deprived, slowing down your metabolism.
  3. Exhaustion can cause higher levels of cortisol, a stress hormone which in turn increases your appetite.
  4. Sleep deprivation can leave you stressed, causing your body to crave high-fat, high-carb foods to help increase levels of serotonin.
  5. Lack of sleep inhibits your willpower, so it’s harder to choose a salad over a bag of chips.
  6. Too little sleep can increase insulin levels and how your body stores fat.
  7. Without enough sleep, you may produce less leptin, making your stomach feel empty.
  8. Lack of sleep can also stimulate the hormone ghrelin, leaving you ravishingly hungry.
  9. You may choose larger portion sizes when you’re tired.
  10. The more hours you’re awake, the more chances there are for you to snack – especially late at night.

Do yourself a favor and talk to your doctor. Being chronically tired affects more than just your waistline – it can cause serious health problems, too. Together, you and your doctor can create a diet, exercise, and sleep routine that’s right for you.

This content was written by staff of by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.  Reprinted with permission: Menopause’s Best Kept Weight Loss Secret: Sleep!

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