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Get To Sleep Or Get Fat

Get to sleep or get fat!

Lack of Sleep and Weight Gain: Is There a Connection?
Sleep is essential. It is the time when our bodies replenish, repairing the mental and physical wear-and-tear we suffer during the day. However, our “alwayson” culture has created a sleepdeprived generation. Cell phones, computers, PDAs and the internet
keep our brains stimulated. The result is fatigue, poor health and, surprisingly, weight gain. 

In order to understand the link between sleep deprivation and weight gain it is important to know how much quality sleep we need. Most research shows that you need between seven to eight hours of sleep every night. 

Studies have shown that decreased amounts of REM sleep can lead to an increased food intake. The two phases of sleep are referred to as non-REM sleep and REM sleep. The “REM” in both phases stands for “Rapid Eye Movement.” 

A recent study indicated that people who were sleep deprived gained 1.3kg over 11 days compared with those who were well rested. 

Non-REM: Non-REM sleep is divided into four phases: 
Phase 1: During this phase, you are in between wake and sleep. You can be awakened easily. 
Phase 2: This is a period of light sleep during which your body temperature drops. 
Phase 3 and Phase 4: These are the phases when you experience a deeper stage of sleep called delta sleep. During this restorative stage, the body is repairing itself, building bone and muscle and releasing certain hormones. 

REM: REM is the phase during which a person dreams. It’s a period of greater brain activity but less muscle activity. 

If you have trouble getting to sleep or find that you wake up tired, lethargic and unrested it may be an indication that you're not getting adequate sleep. If this sounds like you, speak to a psychologist or your doctor who can recommend strategies to improve your sleep routine and it may help you lose some weight.
03 Nov 2011

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