This may be the only time you are ever told that being completely inactive may actually help you lose weight. Some of the extra weight you have put on may actually be due to not getting enough sleep. When you do not get enough hours of sleep, you tend to be hungrier, your body does not process sugar as it should, and can even elevate your blood pressure.

How is that possible? It seems that when you sleep less than 6 hours a night your body produces extra amounts of a specific hormone called ghrelin, which makes you feel hungry. You also produce less leptin, which is the hormone that tells you when you are full. However, when you get 9 or more hours of sleep you tend to have a lower mass body index than those who slept less than 7 hours.

Also, when you don’t get enough sleep, genetic factors and even glucose metabolism, fat storage, and the feeling of being full—drive your body mass index. You may have a predisposition to some factors such as being overweight. If you do have a genetic tendency towards being overweight, getting sufficient sleep can suppress these genetic influences.

How do you know if you are getting sufficient sleep? Not everyone requires 9 hours of sleep. People vary in their sleep amount requirements. You have to determine what is a adequate amount of sleep for you. In order to do this, next time you are going on vacation, go to sleep when you first start feeling tired. Do no use an alarm to wake up, let your body wake up on it's own. Do this several days in a row and start documenting the time you go to bed and the time you wake up naturally. When you start to see a pattern you will know how much sleep your body requires.