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Lack of sleep can cause Santa-like waistline

Not getting the right amount of sleep can turn you into a Scrooge this holiday season and lead to a Santa-like waistline.

“We tend to put everyone else before us during the holidays, but give yourself a gift this year and go to sleep when you’re supposed to and take care of your body,” said Lauri Leadley with Valley Sleep Center.

A Mayo Clinic study released last March found that a lack of sleep may lead you to eat more. Researchers found that the sleep-deprived group consumed an extra 549 calories per day, about the same as eating a McDonald’s Big Mac.

“If you’re not getting enough sleep, your body may release more of the hormone that signals hunger and less of the hormone that tells your stomach it’s full,” said Leadley.

A healthy holiday season should include sticking to a set sleeping pattern, exercise, eating several small, healthy meals throughout the day and avoiding caffeinated drinks after 2 p.m.