Obesity, Sleep & How the Quietest Portable Air Conditioner Can Help
The National Sleep Foundation reports that about "65% of Americans are now overweight or obese." The Centers for Disease Control or CDC also reports that the number of obese adults with a body mass index or BMI of 30 or more have jumped from 15% in 1980 to 27% in 1999. Furthermore, more than 15% of children ages 6-19 years were overweight in the year 2000, which is three times higher than in 1980.
The reason for these numbers is that levels of physical activity have dropped, along with caloric expenditure; though caloric intake has not decreased to compensate. When you take in more calories than you're expending, weight gain occurs.
There is a direct correlation between obesity and sleeplessness. On average, people who are overweight sleep 16 minutes less per day than normal weight people. People who sleep less have a tendency to eat more unhealthy food. Sleep is one of the easiest weight loss strategies, so correct your sleep cycle and you could combat obesity at the same time.
People are getting less sleep than they used to. A study out of the University of Chicago suggests that a lack of sleep causes physiologic abnormalities that may increase appetite and calorie intake. Appetite suppressant hormones like leptin and the peptide ghrelin give off the notion of famine when sleep deprivation occurs. Pituitary-dependent hormones are altered during sleep loss as well and TSH levels in the thyroid gland are reduced by nearly 30%.
For this reason, people tend to eat when they're sleepy. They think hunger is a sign of fatigue mostly because the symptoms of fatigue, sleep, and hunger are similar, so many people get confused.
She also showed that half of the men and women with average BMI tested were normal sleepers and that the other half averaged 6.5 hours or less. She followed up with glucose tolerance tests that showed the short sleepers were experiencing hormonal changes that could affect their future body weight and impair their long term health.
The obesity epidemic is particularly serious for children. The CDC says that 1 in 3 American children born in 2000 will develop diabetes. Children under 10 years of age are developing type 2 diabetes, as well, which is a variety mostly seen in adults over the age of 40.
There is another risk. There are a growing number of children with sleep apnea. The National Sleep Foundation sites a 20 year review of obesity-related illnesses in children between the ages of 6 and 17. The study found an increase in hospital discharges for a number of obesity-related medical conditions. This study also showed that sleep apnea discharges increased 436%. It's proven that someone suffering from sleep-disordered breathing is less likely to exercise, and by no means lose weight.
Ways to Help Combat Obesity and Sleep Deprivation
1. Diagnosis your sleep problem
If you have a sleep disorder, get it diagnosed and treated. Obesity is one problem that can be a result of a sleep disorder as well as a multitude of other health issues that can result from sleep deprivation. The following are examples of problems you could potentially face:
- High blood pressure
- Heart failure
- Depression and mood disorders
- Mental impairment
2. Find outlets for stress
Stress comes in a variety of forms and can affect anyone at any age. One of the number one causes of sleep deprivation is stress. School, economical, and problems with family and friends can all contribute to a restless night sleep. Meditation practice, yoga, and even simply hanging out with people that make you feel good allow you to disconnect from the stressor and achieve a better night's sleep.
As stated earlier, it's difficult to exercise when you're tired, but it's imperative to achieving a healthy weight and lower BMI. Exercise also helps with conditions you might already have like diabetes. Both children and adults are more sedentary than ever. Sitting all day either at school or work doesn't help with the obesity problem. You have to get moving. Just don't exercise to close too bedtime or it will make nodding off more difficult.
4. Sleep comfortably
Make sure the interior of your home is cool and comfortable with the quietest portable air conditioner or warm and toasty with an electric portable heater. The white noise will also provide a bit of comfort and eliminate any excessive silence. Remove the TV and other media from any bedroom setting. These items are distracting and will only keep everyone awake longer than they need to be.
5. Small diet changes
Start small but reduce caffeine and sugar consumption. Eat energizing foods during the day and slowly stop snacking as the evening progresses. Don't eat late at night. The act of digesting food disturbs sleep patterns and also makes it easier for the body to put on weight. For adults, forgo the nightcap. People use alcohol to help them sleep; however, drinking too close to bedtime can actually spoil your sleep pattern.
Making lifestyle changes is the best way to combat the problem of obesity. Start by studying your sleep cycle and see if you're getting the rest you need. Make some minor changes and see if you don't feel better in the long run.
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