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10 Reasons You're Not Losing Weight

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Updated July 12, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

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You're not getting enough sleep
Woman sleeping at conference room table
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Lack of sleep can contribute to weight gain, though experts aren't exactly sure why. In her article, Sleep More to Lose Weight, Mary Shomon discusses a recent study that found that women who slept 5 hours a night were more likely to gain weight than women who slept 7 hours a night.

The reasons? Some studies have shown that losing sleep could affect metabolism by making you feel hungry, even if you're not. Sleep deprivation may affect the secretion of cortisol, one of the hormones that regulates appetite. There's also a theory that we move around less when we don't get enough sleep, which means we burn less calories.

Getting enough sleep is crucial if you're trying to lose weight, not just because of how it affects you physically, but mentally as well. Sleep deprivation makes you cranky, confused and can even make you feel depressed or angry.

Make sleep a priority by trying to get to bed at the same time each night, shooting for about 8 hours, if you can manage it. Having some bedtime rituals such as a hot bath or some time writing down your worries can help you unwind before bed. You can also try power napping, which can be a great way to reduce stress and increase your productivity.

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