Hello My Friends
Welcome To The Vitality Project!
As a professional health coach concerned with the health and well-being of my clients it is my intention to improve your well-being and longevity by using the principles of nutrition, fitness, diet, lifestyle dynamics, and anti-aging medicine.
We have been told the benefits of a good night’s sleep. The norm that is currently suggested is between 7-9 hours per night. Of course, we have also felt what it is like to go without sleep or experience poor quality sleep for extended periods of time. Remember how that felt? Insomnia is something that I have struggled with for years and it does take a major toll on your energy levels, mental functioning, ability to concentrate, focus upon tasks and your attention span.
Did you know that poor sleep quality is also directly linked to the development of chronic disease like obesity? Recent evidence may be able to shed a great deal of light upon the subject. A new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology elevated the relationship between sleep-duration and weight-gain in 83,377 adults living in the US between the ages of 51-72 over an average 7.5 year follow-up. The participants were free of chronic disease like cancer, heart disease or stroke at the beginning of the study and following the follow-up period.
The results of the study indicated that there was a general inverse relationship between sleep duration and weight-gain in women and men. In other words, the less sleep these folks had, the more weight they gained. The participants who had the most sleep (7-8 hours) experienced less weight gain than subjects who reported < than 5 hours or 5-6 hours per night.
The most interesting finding of this study was that in the participants who were not obese at the beginning of the study but who experienced less than 5 hours of sleep per night had a 40% higher risk of developing obesity compared to subjects reporting 7-8 hours of sleep per night! This study showed a constant association between lower levels of sleep and weight gain which was consistently evident across all levels of education, age, levels of physical activity, smoking status and body mass index.
The real underlying issue here is the diet and eating behaviors of the people who are chronically sleep-deprived. Although this issue was not measured or assessed in this particular study, other research has indicated that people who get less sleep tend to eat more food more frequently because the centers of the brain which govern eating behavior, hunger and satiety are stimulated to a greater degree by various hormones.
Thus it is extremely important to get a proper night’s rest as the chronic deprivation of sleep can lead to excessive weight gain and higher risk for other chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cancer and stroke.
What is important regarding your own sleep habits is getting a consistent amount of sleep per night….not just the number of hours of sleep you get. So have a set pattern or routine every night that works for you ensuring that you have a consistent degree of uninterrupted sleep. Not everybody needs 8-9 hours every night but most people who sleep for this period of time also tend not get the level of quality sleep they require.
If your sleep cycle is continually broken, your sleep quality will suffer and so will you. Focus on sleep quality and your health will greatly improve as you age.
Remember….your quality of life is the measurement of successful living regardless of your age.
Dr. Kevin. J. McLaughlin
Clinical Director: The Vitality Project