For over a decade, public health officials have been concerned about growing obesity in America. According to a recent report conducted in 2016, five states had an obesity rate over thirty-five percent among adults, and twenty-four states were above thirty percent. If you’re one of the many who struggle with weight, your fallback might be purchasing a gym membership or starting a fad diet or “cleanse.” While more exercise is always a good idea, before reaching for a keto protein shake, you might try getting more sleep first.

Presented at the Endocrine Society in San Diego, a new study suggests that losing as little as thirty minutes of sleep per day can have serious consequences for body weight and metabolism. Some of the consequences are related to the body’s ability to metabolize sugars, which can affect insulin sensitivity, opening the door for diabetes.

When considering that nearly 1 in 3 Americans don’t get the right amount of sleep, then these results are worrisome. If you’re having trouble getting enough sleep at night, here are three easy tips.

Get More Sleep and Lose Weight

Watch the Caffeine

Probably you’re not surprised to see this one. Caffeine not only makes it difficult fall asleep, but it can disrupt sleep cycles by blocking the effects of adenosine, a neurotransmitter thought to promote sleep. If you’re an avid coffee drinker, one quick tip would be no coffee after three p.m.

Careful of Your Phone

Studies have shown that being exposed to the light of your phone, tablet, or laptop, can prevent our brains from releasing melatonin, the hormone that tells our bodies it’s nighttime. What this means is that it can not only make it more difficult to fall asleep, but also make our sleep less restful.

Get Tested and Treated

Do you find that even though you’re getting the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep you wake up groggy and unrested? Has your partner complained about you snoring, or do you find yourself waking up to urinate more often than in the past? If you have these symptoms or others, you may have sleep apnea, a serious sleep disorder that can increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.

If you suspect you have sleep apnea then you should seek testing immediately. Treatments can vary, but often your dentist can provide safe, drug-free treatments that can significantly improve your quality of sleep. Although many more studies are needed to prove the connection between lack of sleep and weight loss, findings are clear on the importance of sleep.

If you would like to learn more about how sleep apnea treatment can help you, please call (910) 392-6060 today for an appointment with Wilmington, NC sleep dentist Dr. Michael J. Kuzma at Kuzma Advanced Dentistry.