We live in a super-charged society where fast-paced activities always seem to take priority over our basic need to get adequate sleep. Today’s lifestyle is such that many individuals neglect the need to rest and get sufficient sleep. As a result, many individuals are experiencing malfunctions in the brain, slowed reaction time, and the ability to focus attention. In most cases these factors lead to lack of quality judgment in many minor and important circumstances. Lack of adequate sleep and quality diet can actually affect our weight loss efforts, thereby, leading to poor health. Effects of Diet and Sleeplessness on Weight Gain are, therefore, key health issues worth knowing.
Lack of sleep may take its toll on one’s lifestyle and performance. On the contrary, many adults who get adequate sleep are happier and are more productive. Let us look into the effects of Diet and Sleeplessness on weight gain – knowing how important weight gain affects our health. It is important to understand the relationship between diet, sleeplessness, and weight gain.
Diet and Sleeplessness
Certainly, sleep has many health benefits that have often been taken for granted by many. But because of the stress of today’s lifestyle a lot of people have been experiencing difficulties in getting quality sleep. Recent medical studies indicate that food routines and activity may play an important role in determining one’s sleeping patterns. Some foods may improve sleep while others can make sleep difficult. Instead of trying food supplements that induce sleep, medical specialists suggest that people who want to improve their sleep should make wise choices in their diets. The relationship between diet, sleeplessness and weight gain are key health factors worth knowing.
Certain types of food can help us to achieve quality sleep. These include green leafy vegetables, whole wheat grains, cereals, and mushrooms. Fruits like bananas and berries may also help in sleep problems. Common method of sleep like a glass of milk is essential in improving one’s sleeping patterns. Milk contains tryptophan a kind of amino acid that is converted into serotonin, a kind of hormone that controls sleep. Other foods that contain tryptophan are turkey, honey, egg whites, and tuna.
We also need to reduce as well as avoid certain types of food that can aggravate sleeplessness. Foods that should be avoided are foods that contain caffeine which may include – chocolate, cocoa, colas, and some over the counter and prescription medicines. Spicy foods should also be avoided because they may cause or ingestion or gastrointestinal reflux Sweet or fatty food may also lead to ingestion and cause bloating. Eating too much should also be avoided because too much meal may cause indigestion, heart burn or discomfort. The effects of diet and sleeplessness on Weight Gain are important health issues that deserves our attention.
To achieve quality sleep, it is important to observe the following:
- Initiate a program and stick to it; sleep when you are sleepy but try to get up and go to bed each day at about the same time.
- You can use a fan or other means of generating a steady, soothing sound to drown out other noises.
- Cut alcohol and caffeine intake; avoid caffeine after noon and don’t use alcohol as a sedative before bed.
- Block out bright light early in the morning if you are awakening earlier than you’d like by using heavy curtains or shades.
- Since some medicines can interfere with sleep, check your medication list. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about the medicines you take.
- Do not engage in vigorous exercise within some hours of bedtime.
- Ensure that you avoid heavy meals or excessive fluids within an hour or two of bedtime. Effects of Diet and Sleeplessness on Weight Gain are key health factors we should take seriously.
While the use medication and other food supplements are not proscribed, persons who want to use medication to aid them in their sleep should always consult doctors before taking them.
It is important to bear in mind that the best way to improve sleep is to eat the right food.
Take time to plan your diet, it is a worthwhile health venture. What you eat during the day and evening can affect your sleeping patterns. If your diet comprises of high amount of processed foods you may want to try eating more nourishing products. With properly planned diet we we eliminate any undesired effects of diet and sleeplessness on weight gain,
You may want to remove, moderate, or substitute the amount of sugars, fats, and preservatives from your daily intake of food. This can have a more positive impact on your ability to fall asleep at night as well as improve your general health.
It is beneficial that you eat a well-balanced diet by following the recommended daily food allowance. Ensure that you are meeting the daily requirements for fresh fruits and vegetables. Eat complex carbohydrates and choose protein that is low in fat. You can also choose healthy meat substitutes, such as tofu and vegetarian burgers.
Know your body reaction to certain types of food. If your body is allergic to some food types, it may affect the way you think and feel. Become cognizant of any food allergies that you have and try to avoid them. Such food allergies could be a contributing factor to your sleep problem. Some common food allergies that are known to contribute to insomnia includes – corn, dairy products, wheat, and chocolate.
As a matter of necessity, ensure that you schedule your last evening meal at least four hours before bed. Eat a healthy, well balanced meal. Try not to overeat as this may cause you to become tired after your meal.
It is important that you avoid feeling tired or slumbering in the early evening hours as this will greatly hamper your ability to fall asleep at bedtime. As well, make effort to eat enough so that you are not hungry later and find yourself reaching for foods that are high in fat or sugars. The key is to eat in moderation.
A small snack an hour or two before bedtime can be of help if you find that you are hungry before bed. Avoid foods that are very high in protein, fats, and sugars. You should also avoid foods that are too heavy or spicy. You can take a bit of cereal and milk or one serving of low-fat yogurt. The key idea is to provide your body with a bit of nourishment to avoid hunger pangs and not overindulge in an evening snack.
The goal is to reduce your hunger and allow your body to rest and relax.
Ensure that you drink enough water during the day. Studies show that your daily recommended water intake should be around 8 glasses, or about 2 liters.
The National Health Service (NHS) in United Kingdom, recommend consuming 6 to 8 glasses a day, or 1.9 liters (almost 34 fl0.oz), including water that is in food.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and Havard Medical School emphasizes on the health benefits of drinking water. Plan to take more water during the day. Make effort not to drink water or other liquids one hour before bed if the need to urinate wakes you up during the night. If your body is well hydrated it won’t signal you to wake up during the night. The healthier you eat the more balanced you will feel both physically and emotionally.
The target here is to get you to sleep regularly and deeply without waking during the night.
Sleeplessness and Weight Gain
Is there any connection between lack of sleep and obesity?
Researchers found that the further away one is from getting the recommended hours of sleep, the higher their risk of having obesity. The recommended amount of sleep per night is 7 to 9 hours; however, most Americans average somewhere around six hours.
Is there any scientific basis that lack of sleep may lead to obesity?
When someone lacks adequate amount of sleep, their leptin levels drop. Leptin is a blood protein that suppresses appetite and affects how the brain registers when the body is full. Also, sleep deprivation raises levels of grehlin, which is a substance that increases one’s urge to eat. In short, if you sleep less number of hours, your leptin level falls, and grehlin goes up, resulting in overeating and weight gain.
Can obesity affect sleep?
Build-up of fat in the throat and neck may cause obstruction of airways during sleep leading to poor oxygenation of the lungs. This causes pathological snoring called sleep apnea. This can make you wake up several times during the night, leading to day time drowsiness and again, resulting in another night of disturbed sleep. This condition is called obstructive sleep apnea.
If so, the obstructive sleep apnea leads to more sleep debts, more stress, and more leptin and grehlin problems, more weight gain in a vicious cycle.
Is there any solution at sight?
- If you snore a lot, get yourself checked for obstructive sleep apnea.
- Work on weight loss.
- Control stress and maintain better sleep hygiene
Another related study on sleep – with focus on children, has also found that lack of sleep in children aged nine to twelve is linked to an increased risk of being overweight. The researchers were working on a project that seeks to find the link between sleep duration in third and sixth grade children and their risk of being overweight. One of the researchers said that many children are not getting quality/enough sleep, and that lack of sleep may not only be making them display moody behaviour or prevent them from being attentive and ready for school, but it may also lead to a higher risk of being overweight.
In this study, the researchers found that children who slept for less than nine hours a day were at increased risk of being overweight, and this was unaffected by race, gender, socioeconomic status, or quality of their home environment.
The findings of the researchers indicate that sleep patterns may have a behaviour impact on children. They revealed that children who get enough rest have more energy to exercise, such as playing outside instead of lying around and watching TV. And when children are tired, they may be more irritable and moody, and may use food to regulate their mood.
Precisely, most children today are now spending less time playing outside and exercising, therefore having more time in front of the television, computer, or video game consoles. A typical family today may have less free time to prepare nutritious, home cooked meals for the day. This situation is further exacerbated by the hectic schedules and high-pressure demands of work and school.
Being quick and easy now seems to be the mind-set of people, both young and old.
Studies carried out on sleep as we have read can indeed contribute to the healthcare that children need for proper growth. Researchers recommend that families who struggle to get their children to go to sleep at a reasonable hour, should seek help from their health care provider. By implementing an age-appropriate bed time, or even revising school start-times, key progress can be made to ensure that children have enough of health-giving rest and sleep.
According to Prof. Julie Lumeng of the University of Michigan (), kids need at least 9 hours and 45 minutes of sleep every day. The lesser they sleep, the higher the risk of obesity in sixth grade, regardless of the child’s weight during third grade, said Prof. Julie Lumeng who led the research.
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