osWell Health Clip is a new feature presented by osWell Health Management
This time we’re discussing Sleep and Weight Gain. Does less sleep really contribute to weight gain? Are our late-night Netflix binges, and all-nighters contributing to our decline?
The short answer is: Yes. And, you know this… You’re not craving a kale smoothie while you’re rubbing the gunk out of your eyes. More like bacon and doughnuts and sugar-packed-fluorescent-dayglow cereal.
So, what do we know about sleep and weight gain? Well, we know that:
- One week sleeping an average of 3.5-5.5 hours/night caused people to eat an average of 385 more calories compared to a more healthy 7-12 hours.
- Same thing after just ONE night of reduced sleep – around 4 hours – food intake increase by 600 calories.
“Sleep deprivation also causes issues with brain performance like memorization and critical thinking, which obviously yields bad decisions, emotional disturbances and in some cases aggressiveness” (Int’l Journal of Occ Medicine and Environmental Health, 2010).
It isn’t just weight… Sleep deprivation also causes issues with brain performance like memorization and critical thinking, which obviously yields bad decisions, emotional disturbances and in some cases aggressiveness.” Yikes… Many studies have shown that consistent sleeplessness is comparable to a .10 blood alcohol level.
And, what shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, these extra calories from sleeplessness are shown to increase the risk of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. So much so that the renowned UCLA Sleep Disorder Center has an entire webpage on the topic.
Alright, what you can do…
- Consistent bedtime and wake time
- If necessary, Use weekends or off-days to catch up on some sleep
- Avoid stimulants like caffeine or alcohol around 4-6 hours before bedtime – maybe your medications too
- Avoid visual stimulants like phones and tablets, too close to bedtime
- Keep a consistent eating routine (especially for night shift workers)
- Keep healthy snack foods on-hand
- Don’t drink fluids 90 mins before bed
- And ultimately, talk to a doctor you’re experiencing sleepiness, especially greater than one month or two
A special note for night-shift workers: try healthy AND low-calorie snacks in between meals because you’re likely to be hungry. Take a nap before a night shift, 90 minutes if possible. Even before you drive home in the morning.
We’ll have a link to a sleep quiz from the UCLA Sleep Center at the end of the video that may help you evaluate how your sleeplessness might be effecting you.
So, take care of yourself and get your sleep.
Until next time!
More trustworthy health information, at the TrueHealth Initiative. They’ve got it all: food, exercise, companionship… they also make a point to call-out media outlets who ‘misrepresent’ research findings… NO, one glass of wine is not the same as exercise; that’s not what the research said!
More research: Only the highest quality research findings were mentioned during this blog. Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT) and Reviews only:
- RCT: lots of people, like thousands and thousands, all of whom are randomly examined – which is called a random control trial. Like being blindfolded and choosing colored marbles from a jar… totally random.
- Review: A collection of lots of strong studies like RCTs are pulled together and examined.
About Aaron Witwer:
Aaron Witwer is Team Lead, Health Management Services and a Senior Health Management Consultant at Oswald Companies. He has over 15 years of combined healthcare and health management experience, providing population health management strategy and administering various wellness programming to a variety of clientele; from small manufacturing firms to Fortune 500 companies. Contact Aaron at firstname.lastname@example.org and connect via the osWell page.
Note: This communication is for informational purposes only. Although every reasonable effort is made to present current and accurate information, Oswald makes no guarantees of any kind and cannot be held liable for any outdated or incorrect information.
- http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ejcn2016201a.html (Subscriber Login Required)