“I was surprised to see significant weight gain in this relatively short amount of time,” – Andrea Spaeth, Ph. D.
If you’re one of the many adults who just can’t help but stay up late until the wee hours of the morning, you’d been warned. A study conducted by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania reveals that adults are more likely to gain weight because of late nights and poor eating habits.
The researchers observed how sleep deprivation may affect the eating habits and weight gain of 225 adults for 18 days. About 198 volunteers were only permitted to sleep from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. while 27 others were allowed to sleep starting from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. All volunteers were given meals prepared in a hospital and they also had access to snacks and beverage in a lab kitchen.
The lead author of the study, Andrea Spaeth, was surprised to discover that the participants who were sleep-deprived had gained a substantial amount of weight in a short period of time. On the other hand, those who slept adequately only gained a little over two pounds. Research has closely attributed increased caloric intake to sleeping late and insufficient sleep.
“They gained a lot of weight, it was sort of crazy,” says Spaeth. She notes that there are very few controlled lab studies that show the cause and effect of sleep loss and weight gain. Spaeth adds that the study’s findings “could be helpful to people trying to keep their weight maintained or even trying to lose weight.”
“If they force themselves to go to bed at a decent hour, it would help them regulate their caloric intakes, because they won’t be eating late at night,” Spaeth said.
What you can do about it.
We are all guilty of unhealthy diet and poor sleeping habits at some point in our lives. However, there are many ways we can improve the quality of our sleep by adjusting our diet to help us fall asleep faster and deeper.
Eat healthy fat. Fat can be your ally for overall wellness. Healthy fats like coconut oil and grass-fed butter animal fat are excellent choices. These healthy fats provide essential, long-lasting energy for both your mind and body.
Fill up your body with protein. Our body needs protein to boost our immune system and repair muscles. This activity occurs at night while we sleep. So it is better if you supply your body with the necessary nutrients to promote healing and growth of new tissue.
No more coffee in the afternoon. Coffee is great for stimulating your mind. It also helps you to be more productive and do better at work. But don’t forget to give your mind a break after working so hard. Follow this rule of thumb for better sleep: don’t drink any more coffee or beverage containing caffeine after 2 p.m. or about 8 hours before going to bed.
Bonus: Decrease your stress levels. The reason why most folks have a difficult time sleeping is because they can’t stop worrying. Clear your mind by doing deep breathing exercises like yoga or meditation. These relaxation techniques can help your brain settle down, recover, and feel invigorated the next day.
“Health is wealth.” This is what I used to hear from my Dad. Start making smart lifestyle choices today and enjoy a healthier, more productive life in the future.
Have some useful tips? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
Thanks a lot for reading this article! I hope you liked it. There’s more on the way. If you want to continue reading, here are other articles you may find interesting:
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