Adequate sleep could be the unsung hero of obesity treatment.
When thinking about treating obesity, most of us think of diet and exercise. However, sleep loss increasingly appears to be an important factor. Dogs deprived of sleep for one night suffered a 33% drop in insulin sensitivity. The same 8 dogs had a 21% drop when fed a high-fat diet for 6 months. These results cannot be applied to humans--but poor sleep may yet be linked with overweight, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
PositiveTip: Remember, most adults need 8+ hours per night.
Sleeping 7-9 hrs/night associated with less chronic diseases.
Recent research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that missing the sleep “sweet spot” of 7-9 hours per night is linked to increased chronic diseases. Both short sleepers (6 hrs or less per night) or long sleepers (10+ hrs/night) had more coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity and anxiety than optimal sleepers. Are you not sleeping 7-9 hrs/night and have a chronic condition? Consult your doctor or sleep specialist.
PositiveTip: Make adequate sleep a priority to improve your quality of life.
Sleeping 7 to 8 hours per night can significantly decrease your weight.
Nearly 30% of Hispanic men and African American women under 40 years of age sleep less than 5 hours a day. Recent research shows that this amount of sleep is associated with a higher BMI and higher caloric intake, with more calories coming from sweets and saturated fats.
PositiveTip: Sleep lessens our perceived stress and allows for better decision-making in what and how much we eat.
Insufficient sleep in young children raises risk of obesity by 420%.
Childhood obesity is sweeping the world, especially in the most economically developed countries. Sadly, 60-85% of obese children remain obese in adulthood. Researchers in Quebec, Canada followed a representative sample of infants born in 1997-98 for six years, focusing on sleep duration and body mass index. After controlling for potentially confounding factors, they found that those who slept less than 10 hours per night on a regular basis had 4.2 times the risk of obesity compared to those who slept 11 hours.
PositiveTip: How many hours of sleep per night are your young children getting? If they are not getting enough, they are at risk of obesity.
Does gloom and doom leave you bone tired? Try a dose of gratitude!
A watershed British study on a large sample of 401 men and women found those who express thoughts of gratitude prior to retiring go to sleep more quickly, improve their sleep quality and duration, and enhance their daytime performance. These results were independent of the "Big Five" personality traits supporting the idea that pre-sleep thoughts do influence what happens during the night.