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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Always hungry...always tired?

One of the more surprising correlations I've been reading about lately are the recent studies that show how inadequate sleep can affect our appetites.  Not enough sleep causes a chemical cascade in the brain that literally triggers our appetites.  Thus, many people who find their appetites difficult to "control" may be not so much hungry as sleepy and not so much undisciplined as over-scheduled. 

Sleep is frequently the first thing we cross off our lists.  Many people I know sound as if they pride themselves on how few hours of sleep they can "get by on." And yet, by denying themselves time to rest, recuperate and refresh, these people are actually sabotaging themselves.

Adequate sleep is crucial for good health.  Making sure you get enough sleep for you should be a top priority and possibly the perfect place to begin any wellness regimen.  Naps count -if you can't get as much as you need at night, schedule time for a nap.  Don't apologize to anyone for your need to nap, either -  a fifteen or twenty minute power nap and you'll be far more productive if you give in to your need for sleep than if you rely on food, caffiene or other substitutes to make up for the deficit.
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3 comments:

Karen M. Rider said...

This is so very true, Annie! There is a great deal of research showing that insufficient sleep (as well as poor quality of sleep) affects appetite.
(http://www.sleepfoundation.org/alert/sleep-good-way-manage-your-appetite-and-weight)
also see one of the first studies relating sleep, appetite and obesity done by U. of Chicago (http://www.uchospitals.edu/news/2004/20041206-sleep.html)

The primary control center for sleep, sex, appetite and mood are all located in the same region of the brain. Changes in hormone levels, energy (physical and spiritual energy, I would add), don't just affect on of these vital body function, it will affect all of them.

Granted each one of us has unique needs for sleep--some more and some less. This is why it is so important to listen to your body.

Now, here's something to think about. If every person applied the same amount of effort to listening to the bodymind's need for proper nourishment and movement, instead of applying that energy to overriding the bodymind's need for sleep, how much healthier might this nation be?! (and so much more rested and peaceful)
KMR

Walk in the Woods said...

And so many other wonderful and healing things happen when we sleep - physiologically *and* angelic.

pebbles_peb said...

I love sleeping , I always try to get a good nights rest until recently, mostly due to the pain in my body from the RA Artrithis,I have hard time sleeping all nite for several months, I end up sleeping in, which makes the day go by so quick, since I am home. I was always a good sleeper, right thru the nite, I have always wondered why so many people have a hard time sleeping?