Sleeping Less and Eating More

The importance of getting a good night’s sleep has been a hot topic in recent years. Lack of sleep has been linked to many health issues, including loss of skin elasticity, depression, diabetes and many more. More recent research has been focusing on the connection between poor sleep habits and the rise in obesity.

Why sleep is important

Getting adequate amounts of sleep on a regular basis has many benefits. It can lower stress, reduce inflammation and even improve memory. All age groups seem to benefit from proper rest, with some studies showing a direct link between good sleep habits and good grades for school-age children.

Sleep loss means weight gain

As researchers discover the many health benefits associated with sleep, they are also uncovering the harmful effects of not getting enough sleep. In addition to known issues such as increased risk of certain diseases, some scientists are considering the possibility of sleep loss being closely linked to rising obesity rates.

More and more evidence is supporting this theory. For example, a study published by the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC (APSS) looked at how sleep deprivation might affect both appetite and food choices. They found a strong connection between loss of sleep and stimulation of the endocannabinoid system, which plays a key role in controlling appetite. Participants in the study reported an increase in hunger when sleep was limited. They also made poorer food choices, opting for higher calorie, higher fat foods compared to well-rested participants.

Sabotaging a healthier lifestyle

Consumers are adopting healthier lifestyles, including diet and exercise. Unfortunately, many of these same consumers are pressed for time and will skimp on sleep to make sure they fit in time for preparing healthy meals and working out. This is a growing concern for the health industry, as obesity is still on the rise and consumers’ attempts to extend the hours in their day to accommodate healthier living could be undermining their good intentions.

Getting back to sleep

Everyone loses a little sleep now and then, but for those who rarely get a full night’s rest, getting back to a regular sleep pattern is essential. Try resetting your internal clock by going to bed and waking up at the same times every day. If you routinely have trouble falling asleep, avoid computers, TVs and cell phones for at least an hour before bedtime, as the strong artificial light can impact your melatonin production, keeping you from feeling sleepy.

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