Depriving yourself of sleep is not always the most admirable skill.
Now, I love to participate in endurance runs that cause me to go a night without sleeping. I even have had to pull off all-nighters to accomplish various tasks. However, I average 7.2 hours of sleep per night- yes, I do track my hours of sleep on my watch 🙂 That disclaimer given let’s get to the nitty gritty…
Over the past 15 years more research has focused on the lessening of sleep duration and negative health effects. Both epidemiologic and well-controlled lab studies are now specifically indicating that “chronic partial sleep loss” can increase the risk of obesity, weight gain, and type 2 diabetes (6 Hours Sleep Research).
This study http: 6 Hours Sleep Research straight forwardly demonstrates that sleep restriction (i.e.,bedtime curtailment and poor sleep quality) leads to metabolic and endocrine shifts, which includes:
1. Decreased glucose intolerance.
2. Decreased insulin sensitivity.
3.Increased evening concentrations of cortisol.
4.Increased levels of ghrelin.
5.Decreased levels of leptin.
6.Increased hunger and appetite.
What does all of the above mentioned even mean? Well, if your sleep is restricted these hormonal shifts can cause poor appetite regulation, dysregulated nervous system, difficulty gauging when satiated (i.e. full stomach), higher chance of diabetes, higher chance of weight gain, lower brain energy, physiological cravings for food, muscle weakness, mood swings, and high blood pressure. That is no good… like not at all!
So what does this study suggest in terms of how much sleep we need? Weight gain and obesity risks significantly increase with average sleep under 6 hours per night. Keep in mind that this research is not just one study; instead, this is a research article that has reviewed multiple studies in the field of sleep reduction and obesity. Thus, it is a very reasonable and reliable recommendation that we need at minimum 6 hours of sleep per night. Interestingly, as I review correlations between successful/ sustainable weight loss and sleep hours in my clients I note that clients who are progressing/sustaining long term are sleeping closer to 7 hours per night. The principle here is to sleep at minimum 6 hours per night and if possible work towards getting 7 hours. You don’t need to get discouraged if not every night is spot on… we are looking for an average!
How can you accomplish getting appropriate duration and quality? Well… I have written the following posts on tips to conquer sleep:
Sleep Tip 1
Sleep Tip 2
Sleep Tip 3
Sleep Tip 4
Sleep Tip 5
Sleep Tip 6
Sleep Tip 7
Sleep Tip 8
Sleep Tip 9
In addition, we will soon be launching The Empowered Living Community… an online community that will help you achieve all of your health goals, weight loss, and receive all the tools needed to feel fully empowered! This will include further help with sleep issues! You can receive more info at DrDrewBrazier.