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 ) 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 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 ( 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