Wednesday, April 20, 2016

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Sleep and Your Weight

"Sleep is the best meditation." 
                                       --Dalai Lama

Whoever invented sleep is my hero.  Nothing beats a great night’s sleep. 

I talk with so many people who take prescription drugs for sleep.  Doctors love to hand out prescriptions for sleeping pills instead of getting to the root cause.  How much profit is being made by Big Pharma with all the prescriptions written? What is the marketing budget? Apparently, we can a big problem sleeping in the U.S. because we spend more than $32 billion a year trying to sleep.

A good night’s sleep is key to staying at a healthy weight.  When people who want to lose weight ask me for help, one of the first questions I ask is about sleep.  Not getting enough sleep is a risk factor for obesity.

According to National Institutes of Health, “Sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin). When you don't get enough sleep, your level of ghrelin goes up and your level of leptin goes down. This makes you feel hungrier than when you're well-rested.

Sleep also affects how your body reacts to insulin, the hormone that controls your blood glucose (sugar) level. Sleep deficiency results in a higher than normal blood sugar level, which may increase your risk for diabetes.”

Here are 3 tips you can use:
  • Maintain regular bedtimes.
  • Keep electronics out of the bedroom.
  • Have sleep hygiene habits such as no caffeine after 3 pm.

Parents should be mindful of the importance of a good night’s sleep for their own health and children’s health.  Teach your children.  Be a good role model.  Now, off to bed!

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich

Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.