Sleep & eating habits

Are you struggling to maintain a healthy weight? Having a good night’s sleep is more important than you may think. Indulging in a restful night’s sleep is a major contributor to the health of your own well-being, and in maintaining a healthy body weight.

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF https://sleepfoundation.org/excessivesleepiness/content/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need-0 ) suggests that adults aged 18-64 aim for 7-9 hours of sleep daily and older adults (age 65+) aim for 7-8 hours of sleep daily.

According to an article published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism by C. Benedict et al. (2012 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22259064) research shows that inadequate sleep stimulates and enhances the brain’s processing to consume more food and respond to food stimuli (meaning: you’re more likely to have and act on cravings).

Harvard University (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-causes/sleep-and-obesity/) research shows that lack of sleep could potentially increase caloric intake by:

  • Increasing hunger
  • Giving you more time to eat
  • Prompting you to choose less healthy diets.

Find time to get a good sleep:  

  • Stick with a sleep schedule (weekdays and weekends)
  • Follow a relaxing bedtime rituals
  • Be thoughtful of light, temperature and sounds that interfere with sleep
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine a few hours before bed
  • Turn off electronics (including cell phones!) at least 1 hour before bed.

The most relaxing time of the day is also one of the most beneficial times to your health!

Blog post contributed by Reean Osmon, Nutrition & Dietetics Student, University of Western Ontario