Medical News Today writes, “When people don’t get enough sleep they tend to eat more, causing them to gain weight. This was the conclusion of a new study led by University of Colorado Boulder in the US that was published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.”(1)
We all know the importance of sleep on our overall health, including our ability to heal. We don’t know about you, but when we miss a night’s sleep for whatever reason, it is very difficult to function at an optimal level the next day. But for some people, lack of good sleep is a chronic problem. They have been plagued with bad sleep for years and struggle with it day after day.
The sleep-weight connection:
In this study, 16 adults were monitored in an in-patient setting over 14-15 days. They measured the effects of five days of insufficient sleep, which they were using as the equivalent to a work week, on energy expenditure and energy intake compared with adequate sleep. Their results revealed that lack of sufficient sleep increased the study participants’ total daily energy expenditure by about five percent, however, the participants’ energy intake—”especially at night after dinner—was in excess of energy needed to maintain energy balance.” In other words, they ate too much!
“Insufficient sleep led to 0.82 ± 0.47 kg (±SD) weight gain despite changes in hunger and satiety hormones ghrelin and leptin, and peptide YY, which signaled excess energy stores. Insufficient sleep delayed circadian melatonin phase and also led to an earlier circadian phase of wake time. Sex differences showed women, not men, maintained weight during adequate sleep, whereas insufficient sleep reduced dietary restraint and led to weight gain in women. Our findings suggest that increased food intake during insufficient sleep is a physiological adaptation to provide energy needed to sustain additional wakefulness; yet when food is easily accessible, intake surpasses that needed. We also found that transitioning from an insufficient to adequate/recovery sleep schedule decreased energy intake, especially of fats and carbohydrates, and led to −0.03 ± 0.50 kg weight loss. These findings provide evidence that sleep plays a key role in energy metabolism. Importantly, they demonstrate physiological and behavioral mechanisms by which insufficient sleep may contribute to overweight and obesity.”
The role of diet and sleep:
From a Hauser Diet perspective, we find that consuming the diet best for your individual physiology not only makes you feel better and normalize your weight, it helps you sleep better. Eating the wrong foods for dinner or as a snack may actually lead to insomnia. For example, in patients whose blood tests reveal fast oxidative rates (or hypoglycemia tendencies), eating a meal or snack high in simple carbohydrates may cause the patient to fall asleep rapidly but awaken after only a few hours of sleep. To put it in practical terms, those Hauser Diet Types such as the Lion and Otters, need to consume protein and fat containing meals; thus, for example, if a Lion/Otter patient consumes a meal that includes pasta, bread, wine, and dessert, most likely he will wake up during the middle of the night and feel ravenous and unable to get back to sleep. What we recommend for those with this type of physiology is to consume a protein containing dinner, as well as a snack before bedtime that includes protein.
Examples of protein containing snacks:
Nuts, nut butter, soy milk, sliced organic meat, protein bar, protein powder-drink, eggs, beef jerky
Examples of carbohydrate containing snacks:
popcorn, chips, sweets, soda, ice cream, fruit
What happens to the body with consistently poor sleep?
From this study, we can see that weight gain is something that often results from poor sleep. In addition, we know that getting into the deep stages of sleep is essential for the body to be able to repair itself. During deep sleep, the body makes hormones needed for healing and restoration. If your body never gets into those phases, then regeneration and healing will not occur. What does this mean? Typically – chronic pain. This can also lead to all sorts of other problems, including dependence on medications such as pain pills and sleep aids. Relationships, ability to work, and ability to perform daily activities and/or workouts may also suffer. With chronic sleep deprivation comes chronic disease. Good sleep is vital to one’s health.
Get help for your sleep problem
If you are suffering from poor sleep, you may be eating the wrong foods. To better figure out your Hauser Diet Type, take the online quiz at www.hauserdiet.com or better yet, pick up a copy of the Hauser Diet: A Fresh Look At Healthy Living at Amazon.com or Benuts.com for much more information. If your chronic pain is a result of a musculoskeletal problem, then Prolotherapy from one of our skilled practitioners here at Caring Medical may be what you need. Either way, do not suffer in silence.
Markwald, R. et al. Impact of insufficient sleep on total daily energy expenditure, food intake, and weight gain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 0.1073/pnas.1216951110. Feb. 2013.