How quality sleep can boost your health
One expert, John M. Jakicic of the University of Pittsburgh’s Physical Activity and Weight Management Research Center, said in a statement to CNN, that people who aren’t sleeping enough are at risk for gaining excess pounds.
“When you have poor sleep or lack of sleep, you’re setting a whole cascade of events in motion hormonally that could set you up for weight gain,” he said in the article.
One study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concurs with Jakicic, finding that people who are not getting enough sleep are more likely to eat since their body needs that energy to keep from falling asleep. It also found that those “sleepy eaters” oftentimes tend eat more than the average non-sleepy person, resulting in the weight gain.
“What is important to remember is that not only is it important to sleep 7-8 hours a night, it is also extremely important to keep the same sleep schedule,” says Dr. David Koh, pulmonologist and sleep medicine expert with Advocate Medical Group in Normal, Illinois.
Dr. Koh says that most of our body hormones work in a circadian rhythm.
“What that means is that certain hormones, body temperature and ability to stay asleep or awake work on a 24-hour clock,” he says. “The more you mess with the circadian rhythm, the less efficiently the body works.”
Dr. Koh says the biggest culprit to this is from people who sleep in on weekends.
“Just sleeping in for two hours extra can mess up this circadian rhythm,” he says. “By doing this on weekends, you are in perpetual jet lag.”
Dr. Koh adds that adequate sleep is closely tied to our immune status. “The less sleep you get, the less effective your immune system,” he says.
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health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care sites, also including freelance or intern writers.