Are your sleep habits making you fat, nasty and dumb?

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Feeling a little stressed, short-tempered or on edge? Putting on a few pounds around the middle? Having trouble maintaining your edge at work?

Here’s something that’s going to shock you a bit. For some of you, it’s even going to be a bit of good news. Your stress-inducing job, French-cruller breakfast-smoothies and increasingly sedentary lifestyle might not be entirely to blame.

In fact, a good chunk of your weight gain, moodiness and brain-fog may be due to your sleep habits.

For more than 60-million Americans, there is a relentlessly powerful evil force at work in their lives. Something that, altered just a bit, could help you drop weight, improve your mood, be healthier, live-longer and excel at work…and there’s nothing to buy. Only something to do.

Lack of sleep and your weight

Over the last few decades, people all over the developed world have been getting fatter, pointing fingers at a variety of causes, from longer work-weeks to stress to fast-food and inactivity. But, there may be another far more pervasive contributor. Sleep.

During the same time that rates of overweight and obesity have more than doubled in the U.S., the average amount of daily sleep for Americans has decreased significantly. And, while lack of sleep has often been viewed as the by-product of a high-stress inactive, unhappy, sedentary lifestyle, that may be a bit of the tail wagging the dog.

Lack of sleep conspires to make you heavier in a number of distinct ways:

  • Lack of sleep makes you ravenous: According to a December 2004 University of Chicago study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, partial sleep deprivation alters your level of hunger hormones, making you not only hungrier all day, but seriously jonesing for calorie-dense, high-carbohydrate fare.
  • Lack of sleep makes it harder to exercise: When you wake up tired, it is increasingly more difficult to find the motivation and energy to exercise, which, as you progress through life, is mission critical in your ability to not only lose weight, but maintain weight loss. This sets up a vicious cycle of lack of energy that leads to lack of exercise that fosters a poorer sleep that leads to lack of energy. At some point, you need to just dive in and make an exercise intervention.
  • Lack of sleep dramatically increases your risk of obesity: Research by the University of Warwick linked sleep deprivation with an near doubling in the chance of becoming obese. More recently, a 2007 University of Michigan study revealed a strong correlation between childhood obesity and lack of adequate sleep (9-hours). Every additional hour of sleep in 6th-grade decreased a child’s likely of being overweight by 20%, while every additional hour of sleep in 3rd-grade decreased the risk of being overweight in 6th-grade by a whopping 40%. A University of Texas at Houston study similarly showed the odds of obesity in adolescents increased 80-percent for each hour of lost sleep. And, things don’t get better any as we get older, more stressed, less active and sleep even less.

So, how much sleep does it take to go from buff to puff?

As we’ve seen, not a lot. And, the effects can be cumulative, so if you don’t sleep well for a week, then sleep late one Saturday to try to make up for it, you’re still going to be at a net loss. So, it seems pretty clear that sleep plays a role in weight. That would be enough to motivate many people to work on their sleep habits. But, wait, there’s more!

Lack of sleep melts your brain.

Adding insult to injury, it seems lack of sleep not only makes you fat, it may also may you dumb…or at least temporarily dopey! In fact, a growing body of research reveals a serious drop in cognitive function with even small amounts of sleeplessness.

  • Lack of sleep make you less discerning: A 2007 study presented at the21st Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies revealed a serious drop in the ability of airport screeners to detect high-risk items. And, that problem worsened at the participated slept less.
  • Lack of sleep decreases cognitive function & memory: Much of what we learn during the day is processed and integrated while we sleep. So, when we disrupt our sleep, we mess with not only our ability to form memories, but to understand and utilize new information. This leads to poorer performance both at work and in school. Dr. Avi Sadeh of Tel Aviv University recently studied the effects of a slightly shortened sleep period in 4th and 6th graders. After three days getting just 30-minutes less sleep, the average 6th grader had the cognitive function of a 4th-grader. A second study from the University of Minnesota revealed the Average A-student got 36-more minutes of sleep than the average D-student. Moved by this and other evidence, the high school in Edina, Minnesota pushed its start-time from 7:30am to 8:25am and saw a jump in SAT scores from the top 10% of students from 1288 to 1500. Yes, you read that right!

So, we’ve seen the impact of even modest loss of sleep on weight and brain function, but what about mood?

Lack of sleep brings out your inner-ass.

By, now, this should come as no surprise. When you don’t get enough sleep, it can make you downright nasty. Yes, sleep can effect your mood big time! I could roll out the studies here, too. But, honestly, this is the effect that most people can easily validate through their own experience. I know when I find myself getting angry or having a shorter fuse, less likely to laugh or just not upbeat, I can pretty much always tie it to a lack of adequate sleep.

Top 5 tips to help you sleep better.

The evidence is pretty powerful. Lack of sleep can, indeed, make you fat, nasty and dumb. The question is, what do you do about it? And, while the best option is absolutely to see a sleep-professional (yes, they have them), here are a few other options you might want to explore and put into action today:

  • Exercise: Exercising 3-6 hours before going to sleep increases your body temperature and there is some evidence to suggest that the gradual decrease in temperature that follows help lull you into sleep. A Stanford University School of Medicine study of 55 to 75 year old sedentary individuals who struggled with insomnia revealed that adding 20-30 minutes of exercise every other day cut the time needed to fall asleep in half and increased sleep time by nearly one hour. Plus, it’ll help discharge a lot of daytime stress and anxiety and we all know how important it is to overall health.
  • Alcohol & caffeine Simple. It takes about 2-hours to metabolize an ounce of alcohol, so try to limit intake to no more than one drink at least 2-hours before bedtime. Caffeine metabolizes far more slowly. a large cup of coffee could take up to 15 hours to fully metabolize, so the general rule is no caffeine after lunch.
  • Go to sleep at a consistent time. Establish a consistent sleep time and make it a strong priority to keep to that time, even on weekends. Over time, this helps train your system to expect and accept sleep more readily.
  • Develop a routine. Along the same lines, create a specific bedtime routine that you can repeat every night before retiring. This helps program your mind the ease into sleep more readily.
  • Use the bedroom only for sleep and nookie. We tend to anchor certain psychological and emotional states with people and places. If you use your bedroom for work, entertainment and a wide variety of other activities, then you associate being in the bedroom with being awake and, potentially, with stress. But, if you only use your bedroom for sleep and “pre-sleep” enjoyment that almost always leads to sleep (at least for men), over time, you will begin to link a state of calm with simply being in the room. This will help you drift off more readily.

While each of these techniques can yield some serious improvement in sleep, the cumulative effect can be quite dramatic. For further reading on the topic, check out:

On a personal note, getting a good night’s sleep is something I’ve danced with, on and off, for a number of years. In fact, I’ll be writing a lot more about my personal experience and what I am doing about it i the very near future.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts, experiences and insights in he comments below.

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73 responses

73 responses to “Are your sleep habits making you fat, nasty and dumb?”

  1. Karen Zara says:

    This is a very well-written article; it certainly contains some great tips and interesting pieces of information. However, I can’t personally endorse it.

    I’ve been suffering from insomnia since a very early age. Still I’m slim, and I’ve been losing even more weight lately, although I’m not on a diet.

    Also, I’ve always been an A-student, so I don’t think lack of sleep has turned me into a dumb person. But then again, denying one’s own dumbness may be the dumbest thing to do. 😛

    • Garden Guru says:

      I don’t suffer from insomnia but I have always suffered from poor sleep; and wake most mornings feeling extremely tired.

      I think diet plays a big part in our sleep patterns and restfulness and recently gave up foods which I believe contrinuted; such as wheat and milk… since then i’ve felt much better I would say and feel its really made an impact

  2. Fiar says:

    Great post. I’ve been trying to make it a point the last 2 months to get to bed at a reasonable hour. I feel much more energetic and alert as a result. My mood tends to be better too.

  3. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Karen – I think one of the big challenges with sleep issues is trying to response to what are often many different causes working together to create a single effect. I’ve been through a formal sleep study years ago, which was really freaky with all these wires attached to my head while I slept in a lab. Was interesting, but not something I’d wanna do on a regular basis.

    @Fiar – I’ve definitely noticed that when I can stick to a good pattern for a few weeks, I feel sooo much better!

  4. Todd Morris says:

    lol, I read your post title in my feed reader and immediately had a bad feeling you were talking about me 🙂

    Seriously though, I already know what my problem is … a 15 year caffeine addiction.

    It’s vicious cycle. I don’t get enough sleep at night, so I drink a few diet mt. dews during the day .. which keeps me up at night .. which means I need more caffeine the next day.

    I appreciate your tips. I usually exercise in the morning, but my son sometimes bugs me to hit the gym with him in the evening … I should probably start taking him up on it.

  5. Oops Jon, what’s the reward for going through the sleep study? Sounds like a huge sacrifice to be sleeping in a lab. In any case, I believe you’re right, there are too many factors to pinpoint the effects of sleep in Karen’s case. Not to forget other elements like one’s metabolism rate and stuff. They all had a part to play.

    As usual, kudos to you for such a well written, well researched article!

    Cheers,
    Ellesse

  6. shelley says:

    Great tips. I like the part about sleep and nookie the best!!

  7. Mark Dykeman says:

    Unfortunately, I’ve experienced all three woes due to poor sleeping habits.

    During the past couple of months I’ve made some conscious habit changes that have worked tremendously. Unfortunately I’ve been backsliding a bit, so I’d better smarten up before I turn into an ogre again…

  8. Steve says:

    I’ve been the exact opposite of most people. I have the natural ability to get great regular sleep. I exercise every second day for approx 3 hours and sleep mon to fri approx 8 hours, and weekends a whole lot more. Exercise boosts my endorphins and makes me feel great after work. I am very relaxed and very healthy which is why I like seeing people promote articles emphasizing the importance of good sleep. There is no reason to not try and improve on your sleep for your own well being.

  9. viola says:

    Thanks for the interesting article. Isn’t it amazing how many people suffer with sleep problems? I feel very blessed as I very rarely have any issues with my sleep pattern. I usually don’t go to bed before midnight and get up (the latest) at 7am.

  10. Karen Zara says:

    I’ve been through a formal sleep study years ago, which was really freaky with all these wires attached to my head while I slept in a lab.

    Many friends have advised me to go through similar sleep studies. They’ve even recommended me some universities where reliable doctors (and not so reliable students) would gladly receive and study cases like mine. But I don’t think I’d be able to fall asleep having wires connected to my body and people watching me through a window. *shudders* These factors might make my insomnia get even worse.

  11. Stanley Bagshaw says:

    References or your talking out of your ass.

    “A University of Texas at Houston study similarly showed the odds of obesity in adolescents increased 80-percent for each hour of lost sleep.”

    so if a teenager loses 2 hours sleep a night they’re 100% likely to be obese.

    whatever.

  12. raj says:

    Lots of good information. The text badly needs to be proofread, however.

  13. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Todd – yes, caffeine does it to me to, my friend, even sneaky version, like diet softdrinks, which is actually a bigger temptation than coffee for me.

    @ Elesse – I just report the news and am always cautious not to step into the role of diagnosis and treatment for any specific person

    @ Mark – I am actually thinking about live-blogging a 3-month major lifestyle overhaul and inviting all my readers along for the ride, we’ll see if I can put it all together.

    @ Steve – Thanks for your kind words, I enjoy writing anything than can help add to the way people experience life.

    @ Viola – Yes, I am actually pretty facinating by how people have different “set-points” for sleep once they settle into adulthood.

    @ Karen – It was definitely a bit freaky going through a formal sleep study, but I was actually able to fall asleep more easily than I thought. Funny enough, the bigger challenge came when I had to pee in the middle of the night! Stanford and Columbia have great programs and, I am sure, there are many others around the country.

    @ Stanley – I was going to delete your comment, because of the inappropriate tone, but instead I took a nap and decided to just share my resources and then show you where you went wrong with your math.

    The cite for the abstract for the University of Texas at Houston study is at:

    http://tinyurl.com/2z5zce

    As for the math, I can’t really figure out how you came up with your 100% likelihood of obesity, but it’s pretty simple, according to the study.

    If a kid starts out with, say, a 10% risk of obesity, the study is saying that for every hour of daily sleep deprivation over time, that risk increases by 80%. So, in this case, it would rise from 10% to 18%.

    Kapish?

  14. […] Are your sleep habits making you fat, nasty and dumb? | Jonathan Fields | Awake At The Wheel […]

  15. Karen Zara says:

    Funny enough, the bigger challenge came when I had to pee in the middle of the night!

    LoL! Why was it a challenge? Don’t tell me you were watched while doing that?

    Stanford and Columbia have great programs and, I am sure, there are many others around the country.

    Thank you for mentioning those. 🙂 I think I’m going to visit their sites… just out of curiosity, though. I live in Brazil, so I won’t be able to take part in their programs.

  16. unsleepable says:

    […] Are your sleep habits making you fat, nasty and dumb? Maybe. […]

  17. DKDiveDude says:

    Good article, and I posted a link on a new site in early beta http://subima.com , where I try to post interesting links about health and food.

  18. […] #4 – Rest enough to conquer the next day […]

  19. This article is food for thought. It is certainly true that extreme sleep deprivation is very bad for you.

    I will aim to get to bed by 10 from now on.

  20. Excellent post – you’ve been CPP’d!

  21. […] to blame. A good chunk of your weight gain, moodiness and brain-fog may be due to your sleep habits.read more | digg story [?] Share This Author FitTalk Comments […]

  22. […] exercise is hugely effective at alleviating stress and, done about 3 to 6 hours before sleep, can allow you to sleep better, […]

  23. […] to Jonathan Fields, lack of sleep has multiple negative health […]

  24. […] Are your sleep habits making you fat, nasty and dumb? […]

  25. shawn says:

    hi! i’ve been researching alot on sleeping better, and i try to sleep in cycles of 1.5 hrs, so it’s either 3, 6, or 7.5.

    over the weekends, i try to get 9 hours to cover up the insane sleep debt i have, but no matter how much i sleep per day, and i aim for a minimum of 6 everyday, i still feel tired and lethargic.

    however a couple of days ago, i slept at 130am, woke up at 3, set my alarm for another 45 mins, woke up at 345, did my work till 7, took a 15 min nap till 715, and then went for work. though i only slept for a total of about 2 hours or so, it was THE MOST ENERGETIC DAY OF MY LIFE.

    i couldn’t believe it. i didn’t need caffeine, didn’t need to pinch myself to stay awake, didn’t need anything. my mind was alert, my body was feeling good, i felt, for once, truly awake.

    i did feel tired at about 5pm, but i wonder if it was psychological, since friends said ‘you’re bound to get tired later in the afternoon’. to me, i don’t think i really felt tired enough to take a nap, and i did at 5, but i’m thinking it was peer pressure.

    any explanations for this?

    cheers!

  26. […] Here are the goods for this week. Feel free to discuss in the comments.Found from Around the Web:Are your sleep habits making you fat, nasty and dumb? – Solid article explaining what the lack of sleep actually does to you.Water, Water Everywhere and […]

  27. […] Are your sleep habits making you fat, nasty and dumb? Are your sleep habits making you fat, nasty and dumb? | Awake At The Wheel | Personal Growth | caree… […]

  28. Hi Jonathan,

    Good article! I would add that making sure your blood sugar levels are stable before going to bed is a good way to ensure a good night’s sleep,which means cutting out sugary snacks, drinks etc in the evening. When your blood sugar level drops in the middle of the night the body releases cortisol which is a stress hormone. This process usually wakes you up and disturbs your sleep pattern.

    Secondly, avoid using the TV and PC 45-60 minutes before going to bed. The brain takes longer than you might think to process all the images you’ve seen, which can keep you from getting to sleep quickly.

    Thirdly, make sure the bedroom is completely blacked out i.e. you shouldn’t be able to see your hand!! Even though you have your eyes shut your skin will absorb light, which tells the brain that it is day and not night.

    And lastly, there is a great book on Sleep called Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar and Survival by Bent Formby and TS Wiley.

    It’s worth a read!!

    All the best,

    Greg

  29. Martin Muehl says:

    I haven’t read an article I disagree with more in a long time.

    I personally think that sleep is so overrated like nothing else. 9h of sleep every night sounds insane to me and like a total waste of time.

    It’s not the quantity that counts, it’s the quality! You can sleep 12h – when you wake up from deep sleep you will feel tired no matter how long you have slept. On the other hand, if you wake up after 3.5 hours you can feel totally relaxed like Shawn stated above. It depends in which sleep cycle you are.

    I also can’t see how less sleep could make you fat. In fact, the basal metabolic rate is much higher when you’re awake than when you are sleeping. Eating more because you have more time to eat is more a problem of willpower and bad habits than of less sleep.

    I agree that elite athletes need a much higher amount of sleep for regeneration, but that’s for elite athletes not for casual joggers.

    I’m also amazed that it takes a cup of coffee up to 15h to fully metabolize since I usually drink my last one at around 10:30pm when I go to bed around 2-3am. Either that “up to” or “fully metabolize” is very widely meant, or I’m a biological sensation to be able to sleep on coffeine.

    Again, for me it all comes down to waking up in the right sleep cycle. For me it’s enough to sleep around 3-3.5h at night and 1-2 short naps during the day. I’m using a polyphasic alarm clock that wakes me up during a 30min period, whenever I’m in shallow sleep.

    I think people should just try it, I think a lot would be amazed by the results.

  30. Greg Hollings says:

    @Martin Muehl

    I agree that the quality of the sleep is important and it is true that you tend to feel tired if you oversleep.

    I’d like to point out that lifestyle choices, such as what we eat and drink, do affect the quality of our sleep. As a result, tiredness effects our decision making skills.

    For example, when we wake up tired we tend to drink stimulants such as coffee, or worse a diet coke, to give us that kickstart. With that, instead of preparing some natural and wholesome food that nourishes us, we usually grab a muffin or pastry which is quick and easy.

    Stimulants such coffee or sodas give us a blood-sugar rush. In order to counteract that sugar rush the brain tells the pancreas to produce the hormone insulin. Insulin is a survival hormone and it also grabs any excess energy running around in your body and stores it as fat. So that muffin or bagel we wolfed down with the coffee goes straight onto the thighs, hips, stomach etc!!

    As a one-off this may not seem that bad but when you consider that what I’ve just described is a daily habit for millions you can see why people can pile on the pounds very quickly all because they stay up way past midnight.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “right sleep cycle”. Research on circadian rhythms tells us getting to sleep before 11pm and waking up by 6am on a regular basis has tremendous wellbeing benefits, which include more natural energy, better focus and concentration, less PMS, better moods and far fewer aches and pains. But don’t take my word for it – you can read more about it at http://www.chekinstitute.com/articles

    All the best,

    Greg

  31. Martin Muehl says:

    @Greg

    I absolutely understand where you’re coming from, but I think that especially with weight gaining the underlying problem is someones lazyness and not the lack of sleep. I’m also not a big fan of stimulants myself, I do drink coffee, but it’s not necessary to start my day.

    What I just want to point out is that you just need to find it out for yourself. I myself discovered accidentally that sleeping 3-4h is usually enough for me (except in hard training weeks of course) and that changed my life completely to the positive. There’s so much more I can achieve when I stand up really early!

  32. Greg Hollings says:

    @Martin

    I agree that laziness, lack of knowing what to do and a lack of motivation are all factors that can contribute to weight gain. However, there are those that exercise regularly and eat healthily but still gain weight. The culprit is often a lack of sleep that stresses the body preventing it from recuperating physically, mentally and psychologically.

    That said it’s true that people can do with less sleep than others but in my clinical experience most “thrive” when they get to sleep by 11pm and get a full night’s sleep. Of course, the quality of the sleep depends on the lifestyle of the person as well.

    Just out of a matter of interest how many hours a night were you sleeping before you started getting up very early?

  33. Martin Muehl says:

    I used to sleep 6-7h on average. I usually went to bed at around 1am and got up at 7-8am. One day I had an important deadline I had to meet for one of my clients and had to be up and working until around 3:30am and I had to get up at 7am for another meeting. When I finally went to bed I was horrified of getting so less sleep but the next morning I woke up and felt just great! That was really an eye-opener for me and I gradually expanded that to my usual routine.

  34. […] Are your sleep habits making you fat, nasty and dumb? Feeling a little stressed, short-tempered or on edge? Putting on a few pounds around the middle? Having trouble maintaining your edge at work? Here

  35. […] Here are some of the reasons which I like to highlight after reading articles 1 and 2. […]

  36. Dana says:

    I am more responding to some of the crap spewed in the comments, I think the original post is excellent, but. But… Um, what the hell is it with all the fat-bashing I see all over the personal development/personal finance blogosphere? What the heck does fat-bashing have to do with anything? All bodyfat really means is you’re storing excess energy. There is no moral baggage attached to it save whatever people *choose* to attach to it. It doesn’t even kill you, as was discovered back in 2006.

    http://weightloss.about.com/od/obesityhealth/a/00092806a.htm

    Diabetes, not obesity, kills you. You can be diabetic and not fat. You can be *pre*diabetic and not fat. Lots of people are. They should make the glucose tolerance test a standard diagnostic tool for anyone 25 and over, and do it at least every five years the way they schedule other things like Pap smears. Diabetes is what you want to worry about. Fat is just fat.

    And if laziness causes obesity, boy, that sure explains how I’ve been lazy all my life but only fat in the last twelve years. I’m thirty-four. You do the math. Even when I was walking over two miles a day to get to and from work during the week, I never got down to my pre-baby weight. Never. And I had time constraints on both ends, so it was not a casual stroll.

    Gluttony isn’t exactly to blame either. I’ve lost count of how many people I’ve talked to who were obese and who couldn’t understand why because they simply didn’t eat much during the day. I had the same experience. I could eat barely anything during the day, have most of it be high-carb (bread, for instance) and balloon out, or I could eat 2500-2900 calories a day, have most of it be high-fat and low-carb, and start dropping weight. Go figure, huh?

    But you know what? Something else I’ve noticed in the middle of the fat-bashing is you can’t tell anyone anything. It’s like they feel like complete crap about themselves deep down inside and they are gonna grasp at any reason they possibly can to put others down. If there’s nothing else wrong with you then you’re a bad person if you weigh “too much.” And if you’re a woman it’s a double whammy because society expects us to be decorative objects and little else, so if we don’t live up to that expectation, we become subhuman. I say this because I’ve observed the venom with which thin women and most men speak of fat women and it sounds for all the world like they’re outraged that these fat women aren’t giving them something pretty to look at. Cry me a river.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t *like* being fat. Societal expectations are a large part of the reason why, but the fact is that even after twelve years, and especially the last three (before then I carried my weight a lot better), I still feel like an alien in my own body. I’m still carrying around residual self-image of myself as thin. It messes with my head. But that doesn’t mean I think anybody has the right to get all up in my business because I move the freaking scale too much for them. You don’t go on a moral crusade about my dandruff or the length of my fingernails or my eye color, so shaddup about my energy storage too. It’s *my* body.

  37. Fiar says:

    You seem angry.

  38. […] Are your sleep habits making you fat, nasty and dumb? […]

  39. […] lack of sleep can interfere with your ability to assimilate new information.  This means those all-nighters […]

  40. […] lack of sleep can interfere with your ability to assimilate new information.  This means those all-nighters you […]

  41. Evercleanse says:

    People really need to get out and exercise or there going to be facing the depths of obesity

  42. You get so many people saying ‘I’ve tried everything and I still can’t loose weight’ when they haven’t tried the basics.

    You make some good points and if people invested more time into exercise, healthy food and a good nights sleep istead of trying every none medically backed diet pill, book, excersise video that promises to help them loose 2 stone in a week, then they would feel better about themselves, be healthier AND loose weight.

  43. fat, nasty and dumb?

    makes you think twice about how little thought we put into our sleep schedule.

  44. Not getting enough sleep can dramtically reduce your overall performance. Plus it can also be very dangerous. How many accidents happen each year with long distance car and truck drivers due to nodding off at the wheel?

  45. […] Get plenty of rest. A lack of sleep can interfere with your ability to assimilate new information.  This means those all-nighters you […]

  46. Kiefer says:

    Nice posts except for are your sleep habits making you fat.

    Only calories consumed can make you fat.

    Lack of sleep may make some people have poor diet choices like consuming simple carbohydrates to keep them awake, but that has nothing to do with sleep.

    Lack of sleep will actually make you loose weight.

    When you sleep your body repairs the damage caused during the day, and this is when your body builds muscle.

    Obesity is simply due to an improper diet and lack of exercise!

  47. […] Are your sleep habits making you fat, nasty and dumb? […]

  48. Insomnia says:

    Great text! No I know why I am fat, stupid and nasty 😀 I like your humorous style of writing. Will have to bookmark your site 🙂

  49. Beds says:

    Great article, I hope it helps people who are becoming more and more irritable during the day time and can’t figure out why.

  50. […] This post was Twitted by forlitke […]

  51. […] Stay on a schedule: A regular sleeping schedule will help you fall asleep faster and wake up easier. […]

  52. […] Get plenty of rest. A lack of sleep can interfere with your ability to assimilate new information.  This means those all-nighters you […]

  53. […] Are your sleep habits making you fat, nasty and dumb? […]

  54. […] Are your sleep habits making you fat, nasty and dumb? […]

  55. Zach Smith says:

    Sleep is really a crucial factor for us to function well. This is the time when our body repairs damaged functions. Growth hormones used to regenerate important skin tissues and proteins are also released. Simple things like using the right mattress helps a lot in improving the quality of your sleep. Buy a mattress that can provide the right comfort for your body. For better back support, you might want to choose firmer mattresses such as memory foam or latex mattress.

  56. Orlene Robinson says:

    I rarely eat after 7:00 pm and if I do its always crackers, water or just a fruit juice or tea. I realized that when I practising eating heavy meals at nights that it would cause my tommy area to be fat. I did not like this a all so I changed my lifestyle of eating.

  57. Sleep is very important for health in general. In your tips to improve sleep I could add having a healthy diet.

    Eating difficult to digest food can certainly impact your sleep. More than just coffee and alcohol, fatty or sugary food, or simply eating too much, or to fast, can be as bad for your sleep. However, if certain food can disturb your sleep, some other can help you having a good night rest. It’s the case of oatmeal. Oatmeal contains some substances that naturally help fighting insomnia.

    But all the other tips mentioned above are also very helpful. Thanks for this post!

  58. dhaval says:

    This is very impressive article.This article is give me good information about sleep.Now i realize sleep is a very important part in our life.

  59. Angela says:

    There’s nothing here that I haven’t read before (though admittedly, you phrase it well). I had to work a graveyard shift for about two years and I found that I tended to eat worse because if I was tired and irritable and just wanted something to make me feel better. I’ve been back on a normal sleep schedule since January and I haven’t exactly become a new woman I have been feeling more energetic.

  60. I agree with Angela.

    But some people wont have heard it, and if they have. They very rarely put it into practice do they?

  61. Shennan T. says:

    Who would have thought that SLEEP could be a factor in weight gain. Now I have an excuse whenever I gain weight. Interesting article.

  62. Dr. Ruth says:

    Interesting article. However, these studies all seem to imply that everyone needs the same amount of sleep. Not so. Insomnia does not mean not sleeping, it means getting less sleep than you, personally, need. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher only needed about four hours a night and, although one might not agree with her ideas, it is impossible to describe her as dumb. As long as we wake in the morning feeling refreshed, we are getting enough sleep . . . but worrying about our sleeping patterns can actually cause insomnia.

  63. Shawn James says:

    Wow, some good points and notes in the article. @Kiefer says that lack of sleep doesn’t make you fat. Indirectly, it does. People with lack of sleep (see more a little later in my comment) need to feed their body the energy it is lacking. This often comes in the form of high-caffeine and high-sugar foods, which will indirectly lead to obesity when you lack considerable amounts of sleep. For example, someone who gets little sleep one night might have an extra coffee in the morning and a chocolate bar in the afternoon. The diuretic coffee flushes important nutrition out, while the chocolate is high in sugar and converts to fat because this person will not be exercising to burn those calories (too tired, you see?). So indirectly, lack of sleep (especially when it is compounded over time) results in fat.

    Something else worth noting is that true lack of sleep, or “sleep deprivation” as it is called, is 15 of 30 days in a one-month period where you sleep less than 6 hours. Are you sleep deprived? (I think most of have been at some point); the latest numbers out of the National Sleep Institute shows that the average American sleeps just 6.7 hours per night. This is alarming, but it makes sense when you look at how obesity is on the rise, anger management, etc., etc.. It’s a cycle which we can control.

    Again, great info and some good discussion here…

  64. […] lack of sleep can interfere with your ability to assimilate new information.  This means those all-nighters you […]

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