Bedtime Behaviors Lead to Healthy Eating Behaviors
How many hours of sleep do you get? Sleep loss and metabolism go hand in hand and are connected to how you view food. Think about the last time you didn’t get enough sleep, did your food choices mirror your sleep pattern in the sense of not so great choices? Were you eating more than usual or not eating what you would usually consume? Science has confirmed this connection is indeed true. Lack of sleep stimulates appetite-promoting effects, which imbalances our gut bacteria, causing an unhealthy metabolism, which can eventually lead to obesity. Behavioral data states that even a healthy individual that is sleep-deprived will choose larger portions, increase food consumption based on impulse decisions and expend less energy throughout the day.
In today’s world we are always connected. Whether it be a smart phone, TV, watch, tablet or home device, we are constantly connected. This makes it difficult for us to disconnect to get the proper sleep we need. This is the modern day, always needing to be in the know and anticipating what event is coming next. However, with the biological and psychological responses following lack of sleep, obesity and metabolic issues continue to rise. Now, sleep can be of blame. Many of us may have had poor sleep habits for many years. Investigation is still ongoing in regards to restoration of appetite and sleep patterns by reversing such habits, but regardless, getting more sleep now will do your body well.
We talk a lot about lifestyle interventions, and going to sleep may be our new favorite. When you have adequate sleep, you feel better, perform better, and eat better. Start first by sticking with a nighttime routine. What we do and eat in a day dramatically affects how we will sleep. Find a time that is realistic to begin to unwind from the day and stick with that timeframe each night. This might include taking a bath, doing a few yoga stretches, or listening to calming music. Turn off and put away devices. If there is one thing we can do for our health, it would be to not use mobile devices in bed. Following that rule alone will allow us to unwind and decompress after a long day, promoting healthier sleep, and keep the bed for its’ primary intention: sleep. Goodnight!
Published July 1, 2017