In 2012, research by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine concluded that sleep restriction caused the brain to crave more sweet and salty foods. For five nights, 25 men and women were either allowed to sleep for 9 hours or were restricted to 4 hours sleep. The subjects were then shown images of food, during which their brain activity was monitored and the results compared.
Further research at the University of California in 2013 backed up the findings of the 2012 test. It was noted that sleep restriction impaired the decision-making part of the brain’s frontal lobe, but increased the brain’s deeper area that reacts to rewards. The report went on to say that the results gave clear evidence that the lack of sleep is responsible for weight gain.
Having good quality sleep is not only important for weight management but highly beneficial for mental and physical health. It’s during sleep that our body and mind repair, recovering from the previous day and preparing us for the day ahead. Here are 10 tips to give you a better night’s kip:
1. Be consistent with your bed time, and when you wake in the morning
2. Have a regular bedtime routine that helps you relax and wind down
3. Get plenty of exercise each day, being active outside whenever possible.
4. Avoid taking naps during the day that will take the edge off your tiredness at night
5. Make sure your bedroom is cool, dark and free from noise
6. Have a comfortable mattress and pillow. Remember that the life expectancy of a quality mattress is about 10 years!
7. Avoid stimulants such as alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine.
8. Try not to eat within 2-3 hours of bedtime
9. Do something relaxing before going to bed such as reading a book
10. Have a nice, warm bath
Science information for this blog has come from the following pages on Science Daily:
Brain scans show specific neuronal response to junk food when sleep-restricted
Sleep deprivation linked to junk food cravings
David Bowie, owner of Healthy Fit Life, is a mobile personal trainer and sports massage therapist working in the Farnham and Camberley area.