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Less sleep equals more calories

We all know a good night's rest is vital to our well-being, but the benefits don't stop there. Did you know a it can also help trim your waist line? 

For busy Americans, there never seems to be enough time in the day to do what we need to do and hectic routines constantly cut into sleep time. While we may be accomplishing more on our to-do list, we may also be adding more inches to our waist lines.

A recent study found that people who sleep less tend to consume more calories per day.  When it comes to eating, lack of sleep may affect you physically and mentally.

If you're not sleeping enough and you're not thinking clearly, you may be eating unhealthier foods. In addition, when you're not sleeping enough there are changes in hormones that regulate your appetite and hunger.

Sleeping less than seven hours a night can throw these hormones out of balance, making you feel hungrier. In fact, the study's sleep-deprived participants ate nearly 300 more calories than those who were well-rested.  Most of the extra calories came from sugary, high-fat foods like pastries and french fries.

In the war against over-eating, how do you defend yourself by getting the sleep you need?  The answer is to change your habits or routine when it comes to sleeping.  

Create a relaxing environment prior to bedtime. Enjoy a warm bath or read a book. Establish a healthy ritual every night to keep your sleep schedule on track...and your waist line in check.

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