Overweight — Is There a Link to Sleep?
Many of us did not get very much sleep during the holidays. Besides holiday eating – lack of sleep could be a factor in that extra 10- to 15-pound gain.
In studies, scientists have discovered people who sleep less have a tendency to weigh more. Over the last two decades, people have been sleeping less, with 30 percent of adult men and women between the ages of 30 and 64 sleeping less than six hours per night.
This decline in sleep time coincides with the increase in body weight seen in the U.S.
Are you sleeping less and fighting the battle at the scale?
The relationship is not entirely clear. Sleep may affect body weight in several different ways. Research suggests that important hormones that regulate appetite are associated with our sleep cycles. When getting adequate sleep, approximately seven to eight hours per night, these hormones appear to rise and fall in the normal manner.
However, when sleep is less, the hormone levels are altered, leading to an increase in appetite. A chronic lack of sleep may also affect your overall energy levels, making you less likely to exercise.
There is also a question of whether excessive sleepiness affects your metabolic rate. It’s possible that over time, the body responds to the lack of sleep by decreasing your metabolic rate, making it easier to gain weight.
The relationship between body weight and sleep goes both ways as well.
It is well established that being overweight increases your risk of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is the cessation of breathing for periods of at least 10 seconds while sleeping. The type of sleep apnea typically associated with obesity is obstructive sleep apnea.
So if you are not getting a good night’s sleep (think quantity and quality), you can use many of the skills you are learning related to your diet and exercise program to get on the right track.
Just as you should be eating at regular intervals, you need to have a regular bedtime and wake time.
Eating at a regular interval happens best when you plan. The same is true for keeping a regular sleep schedule. Just like a food journal is a great way to self-monitor, a sleep journal can be helpful in determining what things affect your sleep schedule and the quality of your sleep.
Prepare and develop a routine that puts you in the right frame of mind to get a good, restful sleep. Sleep more, eat less, and lose weight! Come see us for help!
For a free consultation and answers to your weight loss questions. Call Etcetera Medical today at 661-259-8884.
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