So Tsz Hei, Jeffrey
Accredited Dietitian (DAA)
Can sleep deprivation cause obesity?
Poor sleep quality can have a profound impact on us. Not only do we lack energy during the day, we of-ten unexpectedly doze off, affecting our daily lives. It may also lead to serious health complications, such as obesity or cardiovascular disease. Some studies have pointed out that sleep quality is one of the factors that affect our weight and eating habits.
According to a study in 2012, 41 obese children who participate in the weight management program who slept for more hours, achieved a better weight loss targets and managed to reach a lower body weight index (BMI). This phenomenon is related to hormonal regulation in our bodies. When sleep is sufficient, the body will secrete more leptin, which makes us feel full. However, when sleep-deprived, the body's hun-ger hormone (ghrelin) will rise, so that our appetite will increase. Also, poor sleep quality will reduce the sensitivity of our body cells to "insulin" and increase our risk of diabetes.
6 Dietary recommendations to improve sleep
Pay attention to eating habits
A regular eating habits can reduce gastrointestinal burden. In addition, because blood glucose levels will rise after eating, it is recommended that dinner time should not be too late. So that blood sugar has enough time to regulate back to a stable level, which helps to fall asleep.
Avoid high-fat foods
Three hours before bedtime, we advise avoiding high-fat foods, including potato chips, instant noodles, ice cream, etc. Fatty foods will prolong the digestion time of food in the stomach and may cause heartburn and acid reflux problems.
Six hours before bedtime, we recommend avoiding foods containing caffeine, including coffee, strong tea, energy drinks, soft drinks, etc. Caffeine can stay in the body for about 3-5 hours, increasing our heartbeat and respiratory rate, and also increases the chance of insomnia.
Control water intake before bed
You should refrain from drinking too many fluids before going to bed. Sleep is interrupted with frequent visits to the toilet during the night.
Wisely select sleeping foods
In the face of insomnia, you can choose foods rich in complex carbohydrates, fibre and protein, such as whole wheat cereal with milk, bananas, peanut butter and whole wheat bread. But remember not to eat too much. Otherwise, it will have an adverse effect and even increase the risk of obesity.
Avoid alcohol and tobacco
Nicotine is a stimulant that prevents you from falling asleep. Alcohol may cause you to fall asleep quickly, but it hinders the body from entering deep sleep and makes you wake up easily. Both considerably affect the quality of sleep.