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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About the Author
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.