It is estimated that 30% of adults in the U.S. get less than 6 hours of sleep each night. Lack of sleep can cause cognitive issues, hormonal imbalances, and many side effects that disrupt diets and exercise routines, contributing to some extreme weight gain in adults.
According to Today’s Dietitian Magazine, insufficient sleep:
- Interferes with memory, learning, attention and mood.
- Triggers the release of adrenaline, cortisol, and other stress. hormones, leading to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Interferes with the release of the growth hormone affecting muscle mass development, tissue repair, puberty and fertility.
- Reduces the immune response to infection by reducing cytokine promotion.
- Alters blood glucose and insulin metabolism, increasing the risk of developing diabetes.
- Changes the ratios of leptin and ghrelin production, leading to the over-consumption of carbohydrate and high calorie food and weight gain.
According to Bariatric News, researchers from Purdue University claim that overweight and obese adults who are losing weight with a high protein diet are more likely to sleep better. They found in their study, that while consuming a lower calorie diet with a higher amount of protein, sleep quality improves for middle age adults compared to those who lost the same amount of weight while consuming a normal amount of protein in the diet.
“Short sleep duration and compromised sleep quality frequently led to metabolic and cardiovascular diseases and premature death. Given the high prevalence of sleep problems it’s important to know how changes to diet and lifestyle can help improve sleep.” said Jing Zhou, a doctoral student in Nutrition Science.
“This research adds sleep quality to the growing list of positive outcomes of a higher protein intake while losing weight. Sleep is recognized as an important modifier of a person’s health and this research is the first to address the question of how dietary pattern influences sleep.” added Wayne Campbell, Professor of Nutrition Science.
The relationship between sleep and obesity is clear. Sleep deprivation leads to a pre-diabetic state which then leads to increased weight and decreased health. A higher protein intake while attempting to lose weight may improve sleep, reduce the hormonal effects on the body which will then decrease weight and lead to overall better health.
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