Most people know they should cut calories and exercise more to trim down, but there’s now significant scientific evidence that another critical component to maintaining your natural normal weight  is avoiding sleep deprivation, sleep scientists say.

“There is no doubt that insufficient sleep promotes hunger and appetite, which can cause excessive food intake resulting in weight gain,” says Eve Van Cauter, director of the Sleep, Metabolism and Health . She has spent 15 years studying the topic.

Here are six specific ways sleep deprivation is linked to weight gain.

  1. When you are running on low energy, you automatically go for a bag of potato chips or other comfort foods.
  2. Ghrelin is the hormone that tells you when to eat, and when you are sleep-deprived, you have more ghrelin.
  3. Leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating, and when you are sleep deprived, you have less leptin.
  4. The more sleep-deprived you are, the higher your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which increases your appetite.
  5. When you’re sleep deprived, the mitochondria in your cells that digest fuel start to shut down.
  6. Your body goes into survival mode. Sleeplessness can fool your body into thinking you’re in danger. Your metabolism slows because your body is trying to maintain its resources, and it also wants more fuel.

How to Stay Grounded in the Midst of Chaos

I had the pleasure of attending a workshop with Mathew Fox last weekend. He is a theologian and Episcopal priest who was a Dominican friar for 34 years.

One of my favorite sayings of his life work is this…….

Our prophetic work is to interfere with all forms of injustice and that which interrupts authentic life (Via Transformativa).

It was a potent time for me to hear him in person, since we have witnessed so much “interruption” of authentic life in the past few weeks with devastating hurricanes and the mass shooting in Las Vegas. During the seminar, I felt moved to ask Mathew a question. I asked him for ideas about how we can move beyond the grief, fear and sadness that has interrupted our lives these past weeks. I  thought I would share his answer in case it helps you to move through anything you are experiencing.

His short answer was PRAY THE NEWS.

I loved how he explained this term. The news is full of negativity and yet it also has stories of the strength of the human spirit and compassion and love. We need the balance of both of these sides. Be informed, but choose how much of your precious time is spent on the negative news and make sure you balance it with stories of compassion and service and the strength of the human spirit.

I hope this brings some grounding to you as it did for me.

Sending love and compassion form my heart to yours.



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