How You Sleep Could Put You at Risk

By: Bel Marra Health | Brain Function | Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - 12:49 AM

sleep problemsDo you find yourself up all night instead of getting some good sleep? A recent study showed that sleep problems such as insomnia or the inability to sleep for a continuous duration of time is associated with a greater risk for developing obesity. According to the medical report published in the journal SLEEP, individuals with sleep problems such as insomnia who also have eating disorders are more likely to gain weight.

The Insomnia Study

In a study involving approximately 276 adults, body mass index, sleep problems and duration, and eating behavior were monitored over a six-year period. The results of the study showed that individuals with sleep problems such as insomnia and eating problems were at risk for gaining excessive weight. On the other hand, obesity was not observed among study participants with insomnia and other types of sleep problems who possessed normal eating behavior.

This observed relationship between sleep problems such as insomnia and weight gain is gaining attention in the medical field, especially when the number of reports showing the same trend is increasing. For years, sleep problems such as insomnia have been associated with the deterioration of daily activities including the capacity to focus at work or at school, operating motor vehicles and machines, and even eating. In addition, sleep problems such as insomnia has long been linked to poor natural health, attributable to the lack of rest that allows the body to recharge after a long day.

Individuals with insomnia have also been reported to be at higher risk for disease and infection due to the poor status of their immune system, which is often influenced by good sleep and proper natural health activities.

Getting Rid of Your Sleep Problems

The results of the sleep study showed that individuals with sleep problems and eating disorders were 2.5 times more likely to gain excessive weight, mainly because of the inability to refuse food that is present in his or her surroundings. This specific spectrum of eating disorders may include overeating in the presence of food, continuous eating in the company of other people who are eating, and eating when negatively or positively affected by personal circumstances. All these activities can play a role in maintaining good natural health.

One interesting finding presented in the medical report involved the lack of association of sleep problems and obesity with other factors such as age, educational background, annual income, and alcohol consumption. The study thus showed that the inability to cease from eating can directly influence the development of obesity among individuals with sleep problems.

Another factor that may influence obesity among individuals with insomnia is poor choice of food items. The study showed that high-sugar food items appeared to be more delectable to the study participants with insomnia, thus resulting in a greater risk of packing those pounds and a deterioration of natural health. The excessive weight gain might be less severe if healthier food items such as fruits and vegetables were consumed. Obesity may also trigger the development of diabetes, especially when the individual prefers to consume food items that are rich in sugar. The excessive consumption of food by individuals with insomnia is thus not only linked to obesity, but also diabetes.

Natural health may be attained by proper care of the body and choosing healthy food items. Engaging in exercises that promote circulation and movement of the body may also promote good natural health. Working out stimulates the body to produce endorphins, which are hormones that generate the feeling of happiness, similar to the effect of eating chocolates and other sweet stuff. It might thus be helpful to participate in natural health programs that promote physical activities such as running, jogging, or even simply walking, in order to improve sleep and eating habits. These activities will also help bur the extra calories associated with eating sugary food items.

Eating healthy food items can also improve one’s natural health. Fruits and vegetables, for example, can supply the body with essential vitamins and minerals that help the immune system. It is also important to keep a calm mind, minimizing the time spent on worrying about problems, as this may also decrease the likelihood of getting quality sleep and achieving good natural health.

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