Will you delay or lose? Adequate Sleep May Be The Key To A Healthy Life

Whenever 47-year-old Jordan Rosenfeld is sleep deprived, his diet breaks down.

“The next day I reach for carbs and sugar,” Rosenfeld said. “My go to is Fritos and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I also don’t drink caffeine, so I really turn to these comforting foods for energy.”

Eating junk food will make Rosenfeld feel just as bad, and can also cause bloating and slight weight gain.

“My pants are definitely getting tighter after a few days of not sleeping well,” he said.

Insomnia is appetizing

Rosenfeld’s experience is hardly mysterious: It has been scientifically proven that sleep deprivation contributes to an unhealthy increase in appetite the next day.

“Laboratory studies have shown that sleep loss increases appetite and increases cravings for high-calorie foods, thus increasing the risk of weight gain,” he said. Dr. Esra Tasali, a professor of medicine and director of the Center for Sleep Disorders at the University of Chicago. “We’ve known that for a while.”

But now, thanks to a new study led by Taşali, we know the opposite is also true: Getting enough quality sleep causes us to eat less than when we’re sleep-deprived, increasing our odds for healthy weight loss.

Woman's hand collects chocolate chip cookiesiStock.com/NemanjaMiscevic

Good sleep leads to consuming fewer calories

The study involved 80 overweight adults who habitually slept less than 6.5 hours a night. recommended seven-plus hours) and found that when these people extended their sleep, they consumed an average of 270 fewer calories the next day.

Taşali said, “We did individual sleep hygiene counseling sessions to increase the amount of time they sleep.” “We followed their usual sleep habits for two weeks and then extended their sleep for two weeks in one group, while the other group continued to follow their usual sleep routines.”

What happens in our body when we don’t sleep?

When we are sleep deprived, what exactly happens in our bodies and/or minds that causes our appetite to deteriorate? And what happens when we get the recommended amount of sleep of seven or more hours? The study did not explore these more mechanistic questions, but there is likely to be some interesting science going on behind the scenes.

“Sleep deprivation increases ghrelinIt is an appetizing hormone secreted from the stomach,” he said. “This hormone gives cues to eat more. When we rest, our body’s systems are better regulated and you feel less hungry.”

Taşali’s work is important not only to clinicians specializing in sleep, but also to those who focus on sleep. obesity.

“The findings of this study establish a link between sleep and one’s weight,” he said. Holly F. Loftonclinical associate professor of surgery and medicine and director of a medical weight management program at NYU Langone Health and a member of HealthyWomen’s Women’s Health Advisory Council. “[They] They suggest that improving and maintaining adequate sleep time can reduce weight and be a viable intervention for obesity prevention.”

Why seven or more hours?

So why is it so important to get more than seven hours of sleep instead of, say, just 6.5 hours?

“The body essentially scans for the amount of fat cells it has after seven hours of sleep,” Lofton says. Said. “If this amount of sleep is not provided, the body receives confusing signals about what to do with appetite, and it can also receive hormonal messages to store fat. This can occur due to deviations. leptin hormone secreted from fat cells and sends satiety or satiety messages.

Struggling to reach a healthy weight? Leave it alone.

To be clear, this study does not suggest that sleep replaces food or that one should sleep during the day if one wants to lose weight. Instead, it highlights the inextricable relationship between healthy sleep and healthy eating, and points out that a good night’s sleep is possible. weapon against obesity.

“Our study speaks of a new tool for society to combat the obesity epidemic,” Taşali said. “Healthy sleeping habits should be implemented in weight loss programs and weight maintenance programs because they can completely change the rules of the game.”

At NYU Langone Health, where Lofton works, tackling sleep hygiene is already part of tackling obesity.

“When we see someone for weight control, we talk at length about their lifestyle, and that includes their sleep patterns, sleep disturbances, the hours they sleep and how rested they feel,” Lofton said. “Part of weight management stress Management — and that includes sleep hygiene.”

Lofton confirms that healthy sleep habits can indeed be a game changer in obesity treatment, but it may not be a dunk in itself. Lofton noted that a calorie deficit of 270 calories can result in moderate weight loss — but meaningful long-term weight loss can only occur with increased exercise paired with a healthy diet. If patients are chronically gaining weight after losing weight, interventions such as medication and surgery are the next steps in tackling obesity.

But the key conclusion from this study is that consistent and sound sleep is crucial to giving our body what it needs to self-regulate. This study should remind us that no matter how strong the pressures are to squeeze in more hours into the day, we shouldn’t skimp on sleep.

“We often fall victim to a mistake as women,” Lofton said. “My belief is this: As carers of families, employees, loved ones, we should not neglect ourselves. Prioritize your sleep and other self-care behaviors such as preparing and engaging in nutritious meals, physical activity, and other stress management techniques.

And there is plenty of room for further research. Ideally, we’d see a study that blends Tasali’s real-life findings with lab-based scientific evidence of exactly what’s going on in the body at the hormonal level. It would also be helpful to know if participants’ weights changed after they slept longer and consumed fewer calories.

“Maybe more research could be done in a longer intervention study with more subjects,” Lofton said.

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