In his recent book, The Jerusalem Diet (WaterBrook), pastor Ted Haggard cites a CBS News report on the link between obesity and sleep deprivation. The report was based on an article in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism and explained that sleep affects the body's production of hormones, including leptin, which helps control appetite.

Leptin levels rise when we sleep, telling the brain that the body has stored up enough food. "If you deprive your body of sleep," Haggard warns, "you may develop a shortage of this hormone. And...your body may start asking for food it doesn't really need."

To help maintain reasonable hunger levels, Haggard says, "eat early and sleep well. Your body will thank you."

Walt Larimore, M.D., is one of America's best-known family physicians. He is the author of Why A.D.H.D. Doesn't Mean Disaster, which he co-wrote with Dennis Swanberg and Diane Passno (Focus on the Family/Tyndale). Visit www.DrWalt.com for more information on this subject and many other health-related topics.

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