The two epidemics in America which we seem to hear about the most are a lack of sleep and widespread obesity. Unfortunately, it’s not just attention-grabbing headlines: according to studies, over one third of Americans are obese, and one third don’t get enough sleep.
The closeness of these two figures may be more than coincidence. A growing body of research shows a strong association between sleep deprivation and weight gain. In a meta-analysis that encompassed 634,511 subjects, both male and female, ranging in age from 2 to 102, researchers found a consistent increased risk of obesity among those who don’t sleep enough.
So what role does sleep loss play in weight gain—and, on the flip side, can quality sleep help with weight loss?
While the holidays can be one of the most fun times of the year, most of us will admit it also requires a lot of energy. From traveling long distances to visit relatives, to wading through crowds and long lines at the store, there’s a lot to do during the holidays that can leave us feeling drained if we’re not careful. The good thing is that practicing healthy sleep habits is an easy way to keep spirits bright no matter what the holidays throw at you. Here are four ways that a good night’s sleep helps you survive the holidays.
#1: Keep off the festive fifteen.
Despite what your own dance moves might tell you, your body is constantly undergoing a carefully orchestrated dance of biological rhythm that keeps the functions of your body running at peak performance—bu
If you’re currently trying or have tried to lose weight, you’ve probably heard ten times over the myriad best practices you should be following, but there’s probably a very simple one that’s been left out: getting a good night’s sleep.
An estimated 160 million Americans are either obese or overweight, according to a recent study, which makes us the country with the highest proportion of overweight and obese people in the world, clocking in at 13% of the global total. Equally concerning, almost a third of Americans report that they are getting less than the recommended amount of sleep.
Over a quarter of Americans reportedly work the night shift—a significantly higher amount than most European nations. This means it’s very likely that you or someone you know works throughout the night, catching sleep during the day when everyone else is up and at ‘em.
Night shift workers obviously don’t choose this schedule because they hate sleeping at night when most others do, but rather because it fits their life’s schedule, or it provides certain benefits, or simply because overnight work is part of the nature of their chosen profession, such as it is for many positions in the healthcare field.
While shift work obviously has some negative effects on your sleep, we’re not here to tell shift workers to go in tomorrow and quit. Rather, if
Did you know that getting quality, restful sleep can help you lose weight?
According to Sanjay Patel, M.D. a researcher at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, at least two dozen studies have confirmed that people who sleep less tend to weigh more. Studying almost 70,000 women over the course of 16 years, Patel and his colleagues discovered that women who sleep less than five hours a night were far more likely to gain weight than those who get at least seven and a half hours. And the difference wasn't negligible. In fact, they were 30% more likely to gain 30 or more pounds. Yikes.
The sleep connection to appetite and metabolism.
There are several different ways losing sleep can thwart your weight loss efforts. Research from the University of Chicago suggests that