WELLNESS--As tempting as that midnight snack might feel when we can’t sleep, late nights coupled with eating is the 1-2 punch your weight and wellness do not need. A study published in PubMed this month shows the link between obesity and sleep called Chronobesity. For a long time we thought that exercise and dietary shifts were enough to squelch obesity, but a growing body research shows otherwise.
Circadian rhythm is an internal clock that tells our bodies when to sleep and when to wake up. This rhythm has been studied and found in other forms of life as well with plants, animals, fungi and even bacteria. When this rhythm is disrupted by say, a crying baby, or someone that works the graveyard shift all night long, important body processes are effected. The body heals and repairs during deep sleep, and human growth hormone, which is secreted during deep REM sleep, is an important chemical that helps to heal the body and create lean muscle. If our deep sleep is disrupted, the brain does not send the command to release the HGH and not only do we not get the needed healing benefits for our skin and organs, but we also lose our ability to burn fat to create lean body mass.
If you’re dealing with chronobesity, it may behoove you to first deal with your insomnia or challenging sleep schedule and only then start to tackle the weight problem. Trying to lose weight without getting proper rest is extremely difficult and can lead to disappointment and even depression. If you happen to work the night shift and have been doing so for a many years, you are at a disadvantage and would benefit from starting the process of switching shifts or looking for other work.
Sleep studies can also help to determine if you’re getting the deep sleep that you require or if you’re just scraping the surface and not getting into REM sleep. Studies have proven that other more natural ways to help solve sleep problems is Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs.