Sleep, Nutrition, and Weight


The common recommendation for adults in terms of a regular night’s sleep is between seven and nine hours. The recommendations for sleep are constantly changing, but the most scientifically accepted amount for some time has been this seven to nine hour time period. Even if we slip up and end up getting a drop under seven hours at six hours of sleep, it can dramatically alter the course of our day with our energy levels being depleted, our focus being impaired, and in some cases, our safety being impacted when driving or operating machinery.

There are some aspects of our behavior that can help us improve our sleep habits and get the sleep that we need on a night-to-night basis. Alongside the problem of sleep we often see the development of certain health problems that result from a lack of sleep as well. This can include stress, anxiety, and poor immune system functionality.

One of the main health conditions that we see develop in individuals who are not able to maintain proper sleeping habits is obesity. Many different studies have looked into the impact of sleep on our overall health and if we are not getting adequate sleep, we are most likely not absorbing the proper amount of nutrients that are required for proper nutrition. Consequently, with this lack of proper nutrient absorption often leads to malnutrition overall. Fat and salt are two key nutrients that contribute to increased weight gain and are also some of the most quickest absorbed nutrients overall. So even if we are making an effort to get adequate sleep and our diet is poor, our weight is definitely at stake and there is an increased potential to gain weight when we are not sleeping,

There are other comorbidities involved with obesity and sleep problems, namely sleep apnea. Increased weight places stress on our respiratory system, which can cause obstructions in air pathways during sleep. Overall, the role of nutrition in our sleep patterns is quite substantial, and vice versa. Being mindful of what we put into our bodies and how we conduct ourselves with respect to certain behaviors can improve our health by leaps and bounds. While many people with obesity rarely worry about their sleep, it does and can have an affect on sleep patterns. It is more vital than ever that physicians point out these risks to overweight or obese patients.

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 Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of osseous

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