Are You Getting Enough Sleep?
Almost 28 percent of Americans are partially sleep deprived, sleeping less than six hours per night.Sleep is important for mood regulation, maintaining energy levels, and feeling restored each new day. When we lack sleep, we generally don’t feel very good as is the case made in a literature review by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
March 2-8 is National Sleep Awareness Week.
Did you know that short sleep duration (6 hours or less nightly) has been linked to:
- Increased risk of motor vehicle accidents
- Increase in BMI (due to an increased appetite caused by sleep deprivation)
- Increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart problems
- Increased risk for depression and substance abuse
- Decreased ability to pay attention, react to signals, and remember new information
Sleeping less than seven to eight hours per night may be an even bigger issue for the overweight and obese because of the negative impact on weight loss efforts and weight regulation.
Sleep deprivation can affect hormones that influence appetite regulation, including the hunger hormone. Sleep-deprived people report higher levels of hunger (craving mainly high fat, energy-dense foods) and decreased levels of satiety. Sleep deprivation often impacts energy levels, leaving you without the fuel you need to engage in activities, including exercise. Decreased energy coupled with an increase in appetite are a recipe for weight gain. With the growing amount of evidence that suggests sleep deprivation hurts weight maintenance and loss efforts, it is important to focus on getting enough sleep.
Here are some tips to help set the stage for a good night’s rest:
- Go to bed at the same time each night and rise at the same time each morning.
- Make sure your bedroom is a quiet, dark, and relaxing environment, with a consistent temperature of 68-72 degrees F.
- Sleep in a comfortable bed, with pillows, mattresses, and bedding that suit your needs.
- Don’t exercise right before bedtime.
- Don’t go to bed too full or very hungry.
- Avoid caffeine and stimulants 2-3 hours before bedtime.
This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be an exhaustive examination of the subject matter nor a substitute for medical advice. Always consult your primary care physician or healthcare provider before beginning any diet or exercise program.