Sleep to lose weight

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For some strange reason, Americans wear sleep deprivation on their sleeves like a badge of honor.  Every day people sling about their worn tales of short nights, looking for admiration and respect.

You've probably heard them all 100 times: "I was up until 2:00 in the morning working on a big proposal;" "I was up all night feeding the little one.  She has the appetite of a child whose never once eaten a morsel in her life;" "I partied all night with my friends.  I was having so much fun I could not bear to lay my head down on a pillow."

Somehow we've convinced ourselves that sleep deprivation marks how driven, smart, fun, funny, and dedicated we are.  Who has time for sleep?  Sleep is for lazy people, right?

But lack of sleep makes us fat.

According to researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN, reducing our slumber time by as little as 80 minutes leads us to consume an additional 549 calories the following day.  Let me do the math for you here.  Taking in an additional 3,500 calories results in a one pound weight gain.  Over the course of a year those additional "sleep deprivation calories" will result in a 57-pound weight gain.

Ouch!  We'd all do well to reframe our thinking when it comes to sleep.  Try to prioritize it, getting approximately 8 hours each night.

This may be one of the more enjoyable weight loss strategies you employ.  Buy some 300-thread count sheets, a soft down pillow, and relish the few hours you allow your body to rest.  Sleep well!

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