Lack of Sleep and Weight Gain Connection

21 04 2014

 

Seek adventures in life.  This will motivate you to stay active.

Seek adventures in life. This will motivate you to stay active.

How many of you have a tendency to stay up late and then eat too much before bed time?  Or do you lack a good night’s sleep because of daily stress, anxiety or snoring while you sleep?  Do you wake up with little energy and then eat too much throughout the day?  Believe it or not there is a connection between these causes of your sleepless nights and weight gain.

Most are unaware when we lack a good night’s sleep we are then sleep deprived and our body is chemically stimulated internally and then activated to gain weight.  Much of this cause and effect has to do with one or more behavioral habits, environmental stressors and/or medical disorder that cause us to lose sleep.  And when we lose sleep our internal body’s hormonal and metabolic conditions shift to crave more food.

Let’s first address staying up late at night and eating too much before bed.  At night when you don’t sleep “for whatever reason” your body continues to burn energy and you feel hungry.  Instead of sleeping, you’re prone to eat more.  And this is the worse time to eat when the body’s metabolism is at its lowest metabolic burn rate.  Staying up late and watching Television and eating fattening food snacks are behavioral habits that don’t help in maintaining healthy body weight.

However, if the reason you do this is because of a bad habit of watching late night TV, the good news is this habit can be changed.  The not so good news is… if this habit is caused from chronic stress, anxiety and/or depression; behavioral therapy and/or medical treatment may be needed to address a primary medical condition prior to changing a secondary bad food habit used as a comfort crutch.

When you stay up late or don’t get enough sleep and if this trend continues, you’re going to feel low motivation to work, exercise, or even work on relationships, etc.  But a worse effect often results from sleep deprivation, i.e., food cravings that cause us to eat more than we would otherwise.  This is likely the result of hormonal and metabolic imbalances caused from sleep deprivation that attempt to resolve the body of feeling bad, or experiencing low energy levels.  And this feeling is typically coupled to a varying degree; a depressed mind-body [known as psychosomatic relationship].  Sleep deprived individuals are often unaware of these internal mechanisms and how they internally activate to provide the body a feeling of normalcy.

“The lack of sleep also changes the balance of hormones in your body, especially ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin spurs you to eat, and leptin tells you when to stop. When you are sleep-deprived, your body creates more ghrelin and less leptin; this leads to more eating, additional calories, and extra weight gain (Brooks 2014).”  “In fact, have you ever experienced a sleepless night followed by a day when no matter what you ate you never felt full or satisfied?  If so, then you have experienced the workings of leptin and ghrelin (Bouchez 2014).”

Also when tired you’re more prone to feel stressors and anxiety associated with the daily grind.  Why?  Because you lack the energy to mentally and physically shield yourself of their effects within your internal environment.  And when the body feels overwhelmed and depressed, then the mind and spirit is also less able to cope these stressors.

Sleeping disorders and behavioral habits can cause acute and chronic depression.  “People with insomnia often wake repeatedly during the night and don’t feel rested in the morning.  Insomnia can cause or worsen fatigue, already a symptom of depression.  ‘Sleep is clearly linked with mental health and insomnia is considered a hallmark of depression (Tracey 2014).”

Your weight gain nemesis may be directly related to any number of internal or external environmental conditions, or stressors that prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.  Then you may feel depressed and eat for comfort; or your body tells you it’s time to eat even when not hungry. Or by simply not getting enough sleep the fat cell is unable to release its stored energy.

    “For years researchers have known that adults who sleep less than five or six hours a night are at higher risk of being overweight. Among children, sleeping less than 10 hours a night is associated with weight gain.  ‘Now a fascinating new study suggests that the link may be even more insidious than previously thought.  Losing just a few hours of sleep a few nights in a row can lead to almost immediate weight gain (Parker-Pope 2013).” 

    “Perhaps the largest study to track the effects of sleep habits on weight gain over a period of time was presented by the American Thoracic Society International Conference in 2006. The study that included nearly 70,000 middle aged women specifically pointed out those women who sleep 5 hours or less per night generally weigh more than women who sleep 7 hours per night (Menopot 2014).”

It’s interesting to note within the fat cell itself, there is a physiological responses to metabolic hormonal imbalances caused by a poor night’s sleep.  In other words studies show us the longer one goes without sleep causes fat cells to malfunction by preventing its release of stored energy.  And for those that experience too many sleepless nights the risk of diabetes, circulatory and cardio health risk increases with weight gain.

“To investigate, Matthew Brady at the University of Chicago and his colleagues tested fat cells taken from the bellies of seven adults after four nights of sleeping up to 8 and a half hours, and then again after four nights on a measly 4 and a half hours.  The team found that after sleep deprivation fat cells from the same person were on average 30 per cent less responsive to insulin – a hormone that makes muscle, liver and fat cells take up glucose after a meal.”

“High blood glucose levels are linked to diabetes. Fat cells also normally release the appetite-regulating hormone leptin [tells you when to stop eating]. Brady suggests that if sleep-deprived cells are generally malfunctioning, this mechanism may also be disrupted, affecting weight gain (Hamzelou 2012).”

There are many reasons one may not get a good night’s sleep.  We’ve briefly touched on insomnia, behavioral habits and suggested environment stressors that keep us from getting a good night’s sleep.  But there are also medical conditions like sleep apnea, chronic depression and other medical disorders patients need help with in order to get a good night’s sleep, maintain healthy body weight and overall good health.

“It appears individuals can learn to change habits and behaviors through a natural process of removing an identified anxiety-stress stimulus.  Once the anxiety or stress trigger mechanism has been removed; anxiety and depression symptoms may be alleviated for many and go away never to return (Woodard 2010).”

Outside of environmental stressors and bad habits, there is a serious medical condition known as sleep apnea that causes many to lose sleep because of excessive snoring.  But it must be pointed out those who snore don’t necessarily have sleep apnea.  Which will become apparent after review of the summarized sleep study below.

Sleep apnea occurs during sleep and when muscle tissue is relaxed at the back of the throat in a way that partially occludes a clear airway.  In some cases, as more weighted tissue is involved around the throat area the structural airway integrity buckles and partially blocks it of free air passage.  This buckling can be thought of as a breach of the airway and in a way that causes excessive snoring.

There is also a neurological condition that is not a mechanical breach or related to an overweight condition.  Instead sleep apnea can occur due to the CNS (Central Nervous System) signaling the brain to stop breathing intermittently during sleep.  This type of breathing interruption is less understood but can be treated in the same way as a mechanical blockage using CPAP (Positive Airway Pressure) or dental device that keeps airway open.  Also both medical conditions of sleep apnea “mechanical and neurological” can also occur simultaneously.  In any event, dependent on medical diagnosis can be medically treated and/or surgically corrected to varying degrees of a successful outcome.

Those with sleep apnea repeatedly wake up because of snoring and occluded airway and May, or may not be consciously aware of doing so. But in almost all cases, those with untreated sleep apnea rarely feel they’ve had a good night’s sleep, feel unrested when they awake and are typically tired throughout the day.

Sleep apnea is serious business because respiratory failure and other health risk have led to death.  If you or spouse have a serious snoring problem, or stop breathing intermittently during sleep, or can’t sleep for whatever reason… see your physician and request a sleep study test.

Sleep Study Tests Show the Following Results:  While asleep, those with sleep apnea unknowingly experience episodes where they stop breathing.  This can occur 5-50 times per hour and up to 300 times during regular sleep.  But if the “non-breathing” episodes only last seconds or less, this does not appear to have a significant health risk to the body.  But if one is sleeping and averages 30 “non-breathing” episodes per hourly average where breathing stops up to 10 second intervals minimum between breaths, this is where serious health risk increases and incremental/accumulative damage to the heart occurs.  While loved one(s) and friends assume you simply have a bad, loud obnoxious snore, this could in fact be an indicator of something far worse than irritating those around you.  And also be aware, just because you snore does not mean you have sleep apnea.  Only a sleep study test can prove this for sure (Woodard 2010).

When we snore and wake up repeatedly, or get little sleep for whatever reason we lack in REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep.  While under REM our skeletal muscles are deeply relaxed and we dream and our food intake throughout the day is better regulated because our hormones and metabolism is refreshed, energized and balanced optimally.

It is especially important if you suffer from stress, anxiety, obesity, respiratory, or other disorder that causes you to lose sleep, seek medical treatment.  Treatment may include anti-anxiety, depression and/or behavioral therapy with, or without hormonal or prescription drug treatment.  If overweight you may also be tested for diabetes, heart and circulatory health, etc. Tests and treatment recommendations may also include sleep study test, CPAP (Positive Airway Pressure) or other device treatment, surgery to alleviate sleep disorder condition, etc.

Regardless of what prevents you from getting a good night’s sleep it is possible to target the problem of your sleep deprivation for sake of your health and overall wellbeing.

Developing or resolving good sleep habits and patterns will support healthy body weight, reduce daily stress and anxiety levels; and will provide the feel good energy to live the lifestyle you need, want and deserve.

Works Cited and Article Resources,

Bouchez, Colette. “The Dream Diet: Losing Weight While You Sleep.” Review. Web log post. WebMD. WebMD, LLC., 2014. Web. 18 Apr. 2014.

Brooks, Dominique W., MD, MBA. “Sleep Deprivation and Weight Gain.” LoveToKnow. LoveToKnow Corp., 2014. Web. 18 Apr. 2014.

Hamzelou, Jessica. “‘Tired’ Fat Cells Might Trigger Obesity.” NewScientist. Reed Business Information Ltd., 15 Oct. 2012. Web. 20 Apr. 2014.

Menopot. “Insomnia and Weight Gain.” Insomnia and Weight Gain. Menopot, n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2014.

Parker-Pope, Tara. “Lost Sleep Can Lead to Weight Gain.” The New York Times. The New York Times Company, 18 Mar. 2013. Web. 18 Apr. 2014.

Tracy, Natasha. “Depression and Sleep Disorders.” HealthyPlace. HealthyPlace, 8 Sept. 2010. Web. 18 Apr. 2014.

Woodard, Marc T. “Defeat Anxiety and Panic Attacks.” Web log post. MirrorAthlete Fitness Secrets. MirrorAthlete Inc., 24 Nov. 2010. Web. 18 Apr. 2014.

Woodard, Marc T. “Sleep Apnea an Insidious Angel of Death.” Web log post. MirrorAthlete Fitness Secrets. MirrorAthlete Inc., 23 July 2010. Web. 18 Apr. 2014.

Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, MSC Officer, ANG Ret. 2014 Copyright.  All rights reserved, MirrorAthlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your free eNewsletter.





Dare to Walk, Live Life to the Fullest!

10 04 2010

Marc from Mirror Athlete Enterprises while on a windy beach day walking, stops to video his thoughts. In this clip Marc touches on walking as the best cardiovascular fitness pain management alleviation exercise. If you can walk, you can receive a fitness and health benefit. Join Marc and follow his many outreach fitness and pain management projects through http://www.mirrorathlete.biz. Here Marc posts Mirror Athlete projects in hopes to reach as many suffering American’s that need not accept the social disability expectation. So many American’s live in isolation and fear of becoming disabled with crippling pain. Marc educates all how to work around pain challenges as we age regardless of pain disorder, illness, or disease. Won’t you join Marc and support his outreach program to help those in pain. By helping Marc, you help millions of familiens hence a nation “one step at a time!”  Also, be sure to read “Dare to Walk, Realtiy TV Game Show Concept” at Mirror Athlete repository article site.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET2010 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





10 Step Basic Weight Loss Tips

22 01 2009

For me the following tips keep my body weight stable.  I could lose more weight through moderate calorie reduction or increased activities.  I choose not to.  Instead, I’ve set my weight where I’m comfortable and wake up every day energized and excited about my daily activities and never worry about my food choices.

“Lose weight and/or manage your weight after you’ve lost the fat”

1)    Find a daily activity that increases your metabolism 15-60minutes a day that you can get excited about and have fun.  Walking works best for me.  Think of other interests and mix it up, e.g., biking, hiking, camping, fishing, shopping, walk the dog, dance, yoga, exercise class, swimming, fitness center, home aerobic exercise equipment purchase, etc.  Any activity that increases heart rate will benefit your weight management program and is essential to good health.  Visit our home site health repository and read “Weight Management and Super Food Ideals, etc.”

2)   If you can’t get 3-4 fruits and vegetable servings per day because of cost or inconvenience, you must supplement your diet, or consume more concentrated quality super foods.  I use a high quality “natural” supplement daily with super food ingredients to boost metabolism, weight management and increased antioxidant protection for healthier longer living.  Visit my home site health repository to read our article, “Why we Need Super Foods.”

3)   Fad Diets – Stay away from any diet plan that restricts your food groups, such as carbohydrate, protein or high fat diet only.  These types of diets to include pharmaceuticals to achieve quick weight loss results will only harm your body’s metabolism.  Eventually these types of diets add on more weight with increased health risks.  Go to my home site within the health repository and read “Diet Pills, What’s The Deal?”

4)   Eat sensible meals.  I eat pretty much what I want to including snacks and other items I know are not in my best interest.  However, I love certain foods just like you.  The key here is to know when to stop.  Moderation and balance of food choice selection is important.  In order to eat sensible meals without going overboard, you must learn to incorporate healthy snacks in-between eating the main meals.  You will actually eat less for lunch and dinner if you do this because you won’t be as hungry.  Make sure you eat breakfast “This is the most important meal of the day.”  Your metabolisms health and stable weight management program requires this discipline.

5)    Don’t eat after 7:30pm.  Your metabolism slows down too much after this time.  If you feel hungry after this point, build an addiction around oranges, grapes, apples or fiber drink-bar in the evening.  You will become addicted to them… I guarantee you will not crave other deserts after about a week.  This is not to say you can’t have cake, pie, ice cream… You just don’t want to eat these things after 7:30pm and a day-to-day basis.

6)   Give up alcohol – Alcohol is responsible for much weight gain, weight loss failures and known alcohol induced illnesses that can create chronic body conditions.  If you can’t quit consuming beverages, or don’t want to, consider red wine (1-2 8oz glasses, proven health benefits).  Do not consume more than 2 drinks on any one day if you must drink alcohol.  Visit our home site health repository and read “Alcohol Consumption.”

7)    Drink water in the evening – Always have a glass of water at your side in the evening.  A lot of hunger feelings are not because your body requires more food.  Your brain really is telling your stomach you need more water but you perceive it as food.  This is because food has water in it where the brain signals the body to eat more for hydration purposes if you don’t drink enough water!  That can add up to a lot of calories and ultimately body weight!

8)   If going to a social function always ensure you eat a small meal not less than 2 hours before the main meal, especially when you know there will be a lot of rich foods served.  You will not be as hungry and you will indulge less because you will not be as hungry.  Visit our home site health repository and read “Holiday Weight Management.”

9)   Try to only eat fast foods once a week if you must do so.  There are so many chemical additives and preservatives in these foods.  These chemicals can make you ill, cause chronic health problems e.g., diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, etc.   I don’t tell you to give up these foods; I only suggest you look for more organic alternatives.  Visit our home site health repository and read “Restaurant Foods Healthy?  Or any of our articles written on Super Foods for weight management and antioxidant boost.”

10.)   Give up diet sodas and deserts that contain aspartame, splendid, spoonful, etc.  Aspartame as a sugar replacement goes by many brand names.  Read my health article on “Aspartame the Silent Killer” located at our main site health repository.  Diet soda has the opposite effect on your body weight.  The aspartame industry is responsible for poisoning our families and creating obesity within our children at an alarming rate.

Although weight loss is not exactly simple, weight maintenance once the desired weight is achieved only requires modest will power and discipline.  If you want to lose weight, I recommend you apply all my principles above.  Once you achieve your desired body weight goal, then you only need to maintain the weight by using in variations from the list above that works best for you.

 

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2008 Copyright, All rights reserved.  Mirror Athlete Enterprises Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your free monthly eNewsletter.





Lose Weight With Super Foods!

22 01 2009

There is a lot of information on the Internet with regard to super foods as highly nutritious, antioxidants, diet weight loss enhancers and much more.

 Super foods are great antioxidants.  They are proven to minimize oxidization within the body.  Accelerated oxidization due to free radicals in the body causes the body to age and break down internal cellular structure at an increased rate dependant on the amount of free radicals versus antioxidants one incorporates into the daily diet.  Super foods are a great free radical fighter.  The analogy here is much like an apple skinned and exposed to air.  Without a protective skin the apple begins to oxidize and it turns brown.  This is because the apple is now spoiling and dying at a cellular level.  The mineral & vitamin nutrients (much like the exposed apple) we consume can oxidize before they can optimally benefit your health at the cellular level.  The scientific data shows that oxidization at an accelerated rate has a direct relationship on your DNA and impacts on an aging body’s metabolism, weight, illness and disease manifestation, etc.  If you want to stay healthy and fit even as you age, but just don’t have the time to eat right, I highly recommend you supplement your diet with high quality super food antioxidant vitamin mineral packs daily.  See our site Wellness Company, we have all natural supplements in a convenient AM/PM packs for virtually every diet and health scenario, also 100% satisfaction guaranteed.

 I’ve listed a few items that are not only super foods, but also healthy weight loss foods you can incorporate into your diet plan.  So if you are thinking about a healthy diet and/or weight loss program, I recommend adding one or two of these super foods to your daily food intake program.

    1)  Grapefruit – Known as a fat fighter, can be purchased in capsules, contains cancer fighting compounds, red grapefruit has been shown to lower triglycerides.
    2)  Sardines – Mass protein benefit and omega-3’s which boosts cardiovascular health, boost mood and stabilizes blood sugar. They are free of contaminants such as mercury and heavy metals and very inexpensive.
    3) Pumpkin – Canned pumpkin, or fresh pumpkin is loaded with fiber, easy to prepare.  Enhance flavor with cinnamon (blood sugar reducer), it’s filling and delicious.  There are many weight loss recipes based on pumpkin.
    4). Range fed beef – Range fed Beef is a great diet food, doesn’t contain antibiotics.  It is a high protein source, protein stimulates metabolism, you feel full longer and range fed is high in omega-3’s which provide many other benefits.
    5)  Green Tea – Is rich in antioxidants, promotes healthy heart, digestion, blood sugar regulation, body temperature, raises metabolic rate, and accelerates fat burning process.  Five cups a day is said to be the ultimate fat loss solution.  Green tea is also a natural relaxer, de-stressor.

If none of these super foods look appealing to you… Go to www.mirrorathlete.com and enter super foods into our health search engine at the top of the page.  You will see convenient links for further super food research and selections to further your weight loss goals.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2008 Copyright, All rights reserved.  Mirror Athlete Enterprises Publishing @: www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your free monthly eNewsletter.