Good Sleeping Habits Helps in Preventing Obesity

The shape of obesity statistics is pretty bad in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease and Control, about one-third or 33.8 % of the population in the United States is obese. The number of people dying from obesity is about 350,000 annually.

Apart from poor lifestyle choices and certain clinical conditions, the amount of sleep one gets every night also plays a role. Inability to sleep well due to stress, fatigue, sleeping disorders like sleep apnea increases the probability of obesity in individuals. It also adversely affects one’s ability and motivation to get involved in physical exercise. This is because a good night’s sleep rejuvenates one like nothing else does. Lack of sleeping can bring about metabolic changes in the body which can have an important bearing on ones appetite, food intake and energy expenditure.

Research shows that people who sleep for six hours or less every night are 23% more likely to gain weight when compared to people who sleep between seven and nine hours. If you sleep for five hours per night the likelihood of obesity increases to 50 percent.

Why does lack of sleep cause weight gain?

Lack of sleep causes weight gain by way of changing the way hormones in our body work. There are two main hormones leptin and ghrelin which causes one to gain weight. Leptin is released from the fat cells and tells the brain to stop eating. On the other hand, the hormone ghrelin secreted from the stomach increases the craving for carbohydrate based foods and fatty foods.

Additionally, insulin, the hormone responsible for sugar metabolism is also affected. The production of cortisol, the stress related hormone, is also increased. The overall hormonal imbalance brings in abnormal fat deposits resulting in weight gain and obesity.

Read our article “Does lack of Sleep Cause Weight Gain?” to get a detailed insight.

Researchers have found out that one tends to consume higher carbohydrate food, when one is awake late at night, which can exacerbate the obesity problem. Another link was brought about between Insomnia and weight gain. Insomnia leads to mood changes and is associated with depression. This increases the risk of emotional eating. Symptoms of depression are eating more and gaining more weight and thus the cycle continues. Quality of sleep is just as important as the quantity of sleep a person gets. Therefore, it is very essential that one has proper quality sleep. It would be better to get four hours of uninterrupted sleep than eight hours of sleep, where you are waking up every 20 minutes and tossing and turning continuously.

Watch the video below for 10 good sleeping tips.

Some of the Good Sleeping habits are as follows:

  • Strive to go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time every day. Set up a sleeping routine. Do not make unnecessary changes in your sleeping schedule.
  • Make your bedroom cool, comfortable and quiet. Get cool shades and calming colors of bed spreads and curtains. Make sure your pillow and bedding is comfortable.
  • Use the bedroom only to sleep. Do not entertain in your bedroom. Make sure the lighting in the bedroom is conducive.
  • Do not drink too much water just before hitting the sack. This will increase your trips to the toilet and disturb your sleep.
  • Do not take long day snaps.
  • Establish a pre sleep routine. Change into comfortable clothing, rub some lotion on body parts, relax, listen to soothing music, meditate, pray, have a warm bath or read a few pages. All these can help you sleep like a baby.
  • Regulate the temperature in the bedroom. Keep it nice and cool.
  • Have a humidifier during winters when the room heaters are essential. This may prevent your nasal passages and airways from becoming too dry and disturbing your sleep.
  • Eat well and exercise regularly. People who exercise regularly sleep better. Bt do not exercise 2-3 hours before bedtime. Eat at least 2 hours prior to going to bed.
  • Do not take caffeine, nicotine or alcohol prior to bedtime. These are stimulants which can keep you awake for longer periods of time.
  • Avoid working, eating or watching TV in your bedroom. Do not keep yorself too busy just before bedtime.
  • But if you have a persistent sleep problem, get medical help to ensure that you are not suffering from a sleep disorder.

Image: Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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