It’s an annual tradition. The holiday season invites us to gather with loved ones, and many times, eat big meals. This, in turn, tees up the conventional New Year’s fitness resolutions. While we’re all familiar with this yearly cycle, recent studies cited in the publication, SLEEP from the Sleep Research Society, demonstrate that a single, simple strategy can help us keep those holiday pounds from accumulating in the first place: sleep!
Sleep Influences the Way You Perceive Food
During one study, researchers used a specialized MRI technique to determine how sleep loss shapes the brain’s response to food by showing images of food to individuals who regularly slept less than the recommended 8 hours per day. The researchers then repeated the experiment after those same individuals had received extra sleep each night for more than a week. In the end, the study showed how specific areas of our brains respond more strongly to food when we’re sleep deprived than when we’re well rested, which tends to cause us to overeat.
Sleep Loss Impacts Metabolism
Another study including more than 160,000 subjects over 18 years looked at the relationship between average sleep time and the development of metabolic disorders. They found that sleeping less than 6 hours per night was responsible for, among other things:
- 18% greater risk of developing obesity
- 8% greater risk of high blood pressure
- 9% greater risk of elevated triglycerides
Give Yourself the Gift of Sleep
Not only does sleep loss act on your brain to make you more likely to overeat, it also impairs your body’s ability to efficiently process those extra calories. To prevent this issue, both studies showed that sleeping at least 8 hours per day can reduce, and often even reverse, the damage done by poor sleep.
How Healthy is Your Sleep?
Find out using our simple sleep calculator: sleepcharge.com/sleepcalculator
Having Trouble Sleeping?
Contact the FusionHealth Participant Resource Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-877-615-7527.