This Ultra-Common Habit Could Be Messing with Your Metabolism

woman looking in her refrigerator

When it comes to our metabolism, we know, generally, how it's determined: Genetics, diet, exercise—the usual stuff. But it wasn't until we chatted with Samantha Cassetty, RD, the chief nutrition officer for magnesium brand OMG! Nutrition, that we realized that a habit we're totally guilty of could be slowing our metabolism down. 

What is it? Not getting enough sleep. 

Cassetty reminded us that our metabolism is what keeps all of our cells functioning. "That means your heart, your brain, your blood flow, your organs—they all rely on your metabolic functioning to keep you alive. And one prime lifestyle factor that is deeply tied to your metabolic functioning is your sleep."

Sleep deprivation has a profound impact on your body’s internal metabolic processes, and shortchanging your sleep for even just one night (!) can mess up your hormones and increase your appetite. "If you sustain poor sleep habits over time, it ups the chance of weight problems and other health concerns," Cassetty told us. Think about it: On days when you're super tired, are you more likely to make a big, beautiful salad for dinner or order in a little too much Thai food and scarf it down before passing out? 

Prioritizing sleep health is important—but how? Cassetty recommends two easy ways: "The first is to take magnesium glycinate—a form of magnesium that’s gentle on the GI system and associated with enabling you to relax and sleep better. Most of us take in insufficient levels of this nutrient, so a supplement can help you fill in the gaps and get more sleep." The second? Put a stop to your late-night Instagram scrolls, since, "Your phone and tablet emit a form of light that interferes with your body’s ability to fall asleep. This one’s a challenge, but well worth it."

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sarah stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...