To Your Health
July, 2021 (Vol. 15, Issue 07)
Your Sleep Habits Could Help Keep You Thin
By Editorial Staff
Despite increasing acceptance of all body types, shapes and sizes, the profound health consequences of obesity aren't going away. Neither are the myriad distractions (read: social media, smartphones, etc. ) that keep us from pursuing the activities we need to maintain a healthy weight and otherwise live a healthy life.
Take sleep, for example. Who gets good sleep these days? The ones who do could be benefiting not just in terms of being refreshed and ready to take on the day; keeping off the pounds could also be easier. Let's look at a new study that supports this connection.
Published in JAMA Network Open, the study found that timing and duration of nighttime sleep were associated with obesity. Going to sleep later (beyond 8-10 p.m.) increased the risk of obesity in general and abdominal obesity, particularly if going to bed regularly in the 2-6 a.m. range). Short sleep duration (six hours or fewer) also increased obesity risk.
Interestingly, longer daytime napping did not seem to fix the problem; in fact, abdominal obesity was even more likely in people who went to bed late and napped longer during the day.
Sleep is a frequent topic in To Your Health, and for good reason, as the health benefits of good sleep – and the health consequences of poor sleep – are taking center stage in health conversations. How are your sleep habits? Do you go to bed at a reasonable hour, get at least 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, and wake up feeling generally refreshed, restored and ready to take on the day? If you're lacking any of the above, it's time for a talk with your doctor on how to change your sleep habits.