Since the beginning of the twentieth century, more and more people are suffering from sleep deprivation. It seems as time goes by, we spend less time for sleep, less time for eating properly and also a lot less physical activity. However, these elements are crucial to create a balance in our physiology, hemodynamic and our overall well-being. It is evident that this balance is currently broken and as a result of this, the problem of obesity is rising.

Beside the obvious health impacts this has on people, if this problem is not addressed efficiently, it will drive our health care cost to the bankruptcy and will have a serious negative impact in productivity and society in general.

Chronic sleep deprivation is rising globally but it has been more evident in the developed countries. Data from the 2008 ”Sleep in America” poll indicate that although working adults report a sleep need of an average of 7 hours and 18 minutes to function at best, 44% of them sleep less than 7 hours and 16% sleep less than 6 hours on a typical week night. Sleep times in European countries appear to follow a similar trend.

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Sleep plays an important role in our energy balance. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation could raise a hormone level in our body called Ghrelin. This hormone is appetite stimulating. Furthermore, satiety hormone called Leptin is reduced by 20 to 30% during sleep deprivation. This will result in an increase of food intake and subsequently weight gain.

Several studies have shown associations between sleep deprivation and increased incidence of obesity and diabetes. In addition to sedentary life and bad eating habits, this could be another reason why obesity in our society is rising. Sleep is as important for your health as good nutrition and exercise is. If you relate to the above, you are advised to speak to your doctor and to find out if you need support to improve your sleeping pattern.

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(image: thegoodcalorie)

 

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