By TERRY SMALL
Getting enough sleep keeps you thin. I have been telling people in my live presentations for years that sleep is very important for brain health.
Now there is another good reason to get enough “shut-eye”. Accumulating research says that even short-term, partial sleep deprivation can cause weight gain and other negative metabolic consequences.
The day following a “less than seven hours of sleep night”, the average person will eat 29% more calories. It seems that a cognitively tired brain doesn’t always make good food choices.
Why does this happen? Ghrelin and leptin are involved. Ghrelin is involved in sending hunger signals. Leptin helps to tell you when you are full. When don’t get enough sleep you body makes more ghrelin and less leptin. You don’t need me to tell you what happens next…
Also, consider this:
· When you don’t get enough sleep, your neurons don’t secrete the normal amount of the “feel good” chemicals dopamine and serotonin.
· This is a powerful recipe for craving cake, candy, ice cream, pasta, and bread (You can probably think of a few other things).
· Even a 16 minute loss of sleep each night increases the risk of obesity (as reported in the medical journal Sleep).
· Lack of sleep can raise the level of the stress hormone cortisol. This encourages your body to break down muscle and store fat.
· Sleep deprivation slows down your metabolism.
· Being awake longer gives you more time and opportunity to eat.
· When your brain is tired your judgment is impaired and will power is depleted.
· The relationship between sleep duration and Body Mass Index is clear.
I think there are two bottom lines:
· Sleep more. Seven to nine hours.
· Life isn’t perfect. You won’t always get seven hours of sleep. So, when you don’t, be vigilant. Know that you are likely to make poor food choices. Set yourself up for success.
Congratulations on learning something about your brain today. The Brain Bulletin is committed to help to do just that.
Always remember: “You are a genius!”
Enjoy your brain.