Sleep is a potent medicine to good health that has no harmful effects when taken in the prescribed quantity, neither too less nor more. But as we know, many individuals are not of the habit of pursuing something that’s good for health which includes sleeping too. The present-day world offers people with too many options that keep them entertained, in the form of online games, thrilling online series and social media platforms, that individuals often don’t think about sleeping. We don’t even bother to get the right amount of sleep at least few days a week. This leads to sleep deprivation, a condition from which many of us suffer these days, and such insufficient sleep has been linked to disrupted brain functioning resulting in impaired alertness and cognitive skills. But now, we see that sleep loss is connected to disrupted energy regulation in humans which can have grave impact on weight gain and other health problems as well.
The utterance of the word ‘fat’ creates panic but its not the nutrient that’s the cause for tension here (as it is integral for different vital functions performed by the body) but the individual who does not control his/her consumption portion that exists as the root cause for many problems. Sleep’s effect on glucose metabolism has been studied but its impact on fat metabolism is quite unexplored until now. This interested researchers with a group of them focusing on 15 healthy men in their 20s observing them for sleep-related changes in their body. All of them spent a week getting plenty of sleep at home and then checked into a sleep lab for a ten-night study. During five out of 10 nights each of them did not spend more than 5 hours in bed each night. The rest of the time during the days (where participants got only 5 hours of sleep) was spent in an engaging and positive way by playing games, interacting and talking with the research team members and among themselves. All of them were given a high-fat dinner consisting of a bowl of chili mac after four nights of restricted sleep. The food was energy-dense and tasty which could be found from the empty bowls of food as the participants had no trouble eating it. But all of them felt less satisfied after eating the same meal while sleep deprived compared to when they had eaten it after a good night’s sleep.
Blood samples showed that sleep restriction affected postprandial lipid response leading to faster clearance of lipids from the blood after a meal-this is a high-risk factor for weight gain. All of them had Friday and Saturday nights where they could sleep for as much as ten hours to catch up for all the lost sleep. After the first night they ate one last bowl of chilli mac and satisfaction measures showed that though the participants were better satisfied than they were when they lacked proper sleep still, they did not achieve the baseline healthy level of recovery. An optimal number of hours is required every day to stay healthy. Trying to compensate for the lost hours of sleep during weekdays on weekends is not going to benefit the individual in the long term. Improve your sleep quality by practising the tips and tricks available at www.firsteatright.com.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.