Is this the reason you’re overeating?

Is this the reason you’re overeating?

You may have heard workplace stress can take various tolls on your health, such as inciting you to eat that stress away with your favorite sweets and snacks. However, a new study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology suggests a good night’s rest can help prevent this unhealthy eating pattern.

The study, which included a total of 235 men and women, found that after a stressful day, these employees would bring their workplace stress home with them, resulting in an overindulgence of unhealthy foods near dinnertime. However, those employees who slept soundly and received the recommended hours of sleep would eat less and better the next day despite experiencing the same level of stress.

“A good night’s sleep helps to restore the brain so that you can feel energized and ready to focus the next day,” says Dr. Muhammad Hamadeh, medical director of the sleep disorders center at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill. “Memory consolidation takes place while we sleep. This is where recent memories turn into long-term memories, which can help us piece together different things we’ve learned throughout the day and prepare us for the morning.”

Aside from helping reduce unhealthy eating patterns, Dr. Hamadeh explains a good night’s sleep can also improve productivity, reduce chances of depression and even decrease your chance of getting a cold by boosting your immune system.

Dr. Hamadeh says there are many different factors which play into the amount of sleep a person should have. However, he says the average adult needs around seven to nine hours of sleep each night.

So how do you know if you’re getting enough sleep?

Dr. Hamadeh says experiencing memory loss, having trouble keeping your eyes focused and consistently yawning are all signs of sleep deprivation. If you’re routinely experiencing trouble sleeping, he recommends you seek the advice of a doctor to help find a solution.

He believes these findings should encourage people to get their recommended hours of rest as well as encourage employers to promote healthy sleep routines.

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  1. “…despite experiencing the same level of stress.”

    Um, how is that measured? The thing about stress is that it’s internal and personal. You and I might experience the same events, but we would handle it differently and, hence would have different levels of stress because of it. So perhaps the horse and the cart are mixed up here. Perhaps people who experience stressful events more stressfully are the ones who can’t sleep. Overeating is also a side effect of one’s personal experience of stress, so maybe both over-eating and not sleeping are related to who who experiences stress more or less stressfully.

  2. The best stress relief is being saved and delivered from sin, because one is able to cast their cares upon GOD for Him to work them out.

About the Author

Jamie Bonnema
Jamie Bonnema

Jamie Bonnema, health enews contributor, is a specialist of public affairs and marketing at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. She earned her BA in communications from DePaul University in Chicago. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, going to concerts, and cheering on the Chicago Cubs.