Weight Loss, Dieting & Obesity
© Copyright 2004 - 2011 , Trevor Johnson.
Sleep Therapy for Overweight and Obesity.
Can you really lose weight while you sleep?
The term "Sleep Therapy" as used in this heading is a bit of a misnomer. It probably should more accurately be called "sleep common sense". Unfortunately, when it comes to modern sleep patterns, as the old saying goes common sense is not really so common at all.
Sleep deprivation or lack or sleep is a common, and commonly overlooked, cause or contributor to weight problems.
Modern lifestyles have created terribly unnatural and unhealthy sleep patterns. The advent of electricity, followed by motor vehicles and television sets (and more recently home computers) has resulted in people sleeping less in the present era than in generations past.
Think of life pre-electricity. It wasn't really all that long ago. Your great grandparents could tell you about it. People went to bed much earlier and slept longer. Maybe the kerosene lamp meant that they still stayed up for a couple of hours after sunset, but by and large people lived by the principle of "early to bed, early to rise, makes a person healthy, wealthy and wise." They had to. It was dark after sunset in the days (and the thousands of years of human history) prior to electricity.
Instead of the nine or more hours of sleep per night of our forebears, we today commonly live with under seven hours of sleep on a regular basis.
Have you thought about how modern society has managed the human energy needs to combat tiredness and fatigue that results from that lack of sleep? It largely revolves around ingesting more calories for an energy boost at more intervals throughout the day.
The implications for weight gain are therefore obvious.
Still, even the obvious implications are only the tip of the iceberg.
Studies have shown that lack of sleep results in elevated insulin levels, and insulin resistance. This raises the probabilities of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Lack of sleep has also long been known to weaken the immune system, leading to increased susceptibility to many minor and major sickness, illnesses and diseases.
In addition to these, other studies such as that published in The Lancet in October 1999, show that lack of sleep adversely alters hormones and metabolism - in as little as just one week of reduced sleeping hours.
The message is clear. If you want to prevent weight gain, or if you want to lose weight in a sensible and healthy and sustainable manner, at least one part of the lifestyle action you need to take is to get plenty of sleep on a regular basis. Change your lifestyle now to give yourself nine hours or so of sleep each and every night and you will be making a significant contribution to your overall health, as well as weight management.
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