- Category: Articles
- Published on Monday, 12 September 2011 02:22
When we think about trying to lead a healthy life we often focus on trying to eat well and get in regular exercise. Whilst these are both significant aspects of being healthy, the importance of getting a good sleep is sometimes neglected and should be taken into account as part of a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
The role of sleep in a healthy lifestyle is sometimes understated. A recent study at the University of Washington has demonstrated a link between sleep and obesity in adults. The study aimed to explore in more detail previous research done on the relationship between people who sleep less and their body mass index. Using information supplied by 1,811 pairs of twins on their sleeping habits as well as their height and weight, the investigators were able to report a correlation between longer sleeping periods with a lower BMI.
The same study also revealed that people who are tired seem to show a lack of restraint when exposed to high-calorie foods. While this particular study only demonstrated this poor self-control using visual stimulus, as opposed to the actual consumption of food, other research has been able to establish a connection between tiredness and an increased appetite. This connection is caused by the human body increasing levels of ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates our appetite, when we don’t get enough sleep. In addition, it was found that people who sleep less had lower levels of leptin, the hormone that tells us when we’ve had enough to eat.
There probably needs to be more research done into what the actual relationship between sleep and obesity is and how it works but current evidence indicates that getting good regular sleep is vital to a healthy lifestyle; in conjunction with eating well and quality exercise of course!