Sugar addiction is real, and many people struggle to keep their sugar intake to a reasonable amount. Although sugar has a powerful pull, research suggests getting more good, quality sleep can help you manage your cravings.
How Much Sugar do You Consume?
The National Diet and Nutrition Survey found that all age groups eat more than the maximum recommended amount of sugar. Experts say no more than 5 percent of your daily food calories should come from added sugars, which is about 30g of sugar each day.
Typically, adults consume more than 11 percent of daily calories from sugars. Young people from 11 to 18 are higher at 15 percent.
Common sources of sugar for adults include:
When you eat too much sugar, you may gain weight or experience tooth decay.
Sleep Deprivation Can Influence Sugar Consumption
Many adults struggle to keep sugar consumption in check, and it may be related to sleep deprivation, especially when you turn to sugary, caffeinated beverages for a pick me up.
Research indicates adults who sleep five hours or fewer per night have 21 percent higher sugar sweetened beverage consumption, usually caffeinated sugary beverages. Those who slept for nine hours or longer consumed fewer servings of coffee and water.
Sleep deprivation can also influence the food you buy. Research from the Swedish Brain Research Foundation found sleep-deprived men purchased more calories and grams of food than after a night of sleep.
How You Can Sleep and Eat Well
Sugar can be a strong craving, but it is possible to reduce your sugar consumption. Focus on getting good sleep and practicing healthy habits to shake off your sugar cravings.
Sara Westgreen is a researcher for the sleep science hub Tuck.com. She sleeps on a king size bed in Texas, where she defends her territory against cats all night. A mother of three, she enjoys beer, board games, and getting as much sleep as she can get her hands on.
If you feel you could benefit from a consultation on how to get better sleep or require general guidance on nutritional support and how to live a balanced lifestyle please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website by going to www.urbanplatehealth.com
We all forget things to do from time-to-time. For some of us, memory issues affect us more than others. Whilst it is perfectly natural to forget to do things, it can be frustrating if it is something that occurs on a regular basis. Yes, there is a growing concern about the usefulness of our memory, especially as we get older.
Let's discuss what causes memory loss, and from there we can move onto what can be done to help with this condition.
Firstly, like with most things, your lifestyle, diet, habits and career will all play a part in your overall health, including how healthy your memory is. Having a stressful job combined with a poor diet, lack of exercise and limited exposure to daylight will all contribute to long-term memory loss.
Many medical problems can cause memory loss or other dementia-like symptoms. Most of these conditions can be treated. Your doctor can screen you for conditions that cause reversible memory impairment.
Possible causes of reversible memory loss include :
Sleep apnea could also be a cause of memory loss. This common but treatable sleep disorder causes breathing to stop briefly and frequently throughout the night. It is linked to memory loss and dementia, according to Constantine Lyketsos, MD, director of the Memory and Alzheimer's Treatment Center at Johns Hopkins Medicine and professor and chair of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Bayview. You might have sleep apnea if you wake up with a headache and have daytime fatigue, or if your partner complains of loud snoring.
When not treated, sleep apnea affects spatial navigational memory, found a study published in The Journal of Neuroscience. This type of memory includes being able to remember directions or where you put things like your keys. The research suggests that deep sleep, also known as rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, plays an important role in memory.
One explanation is that for people with sleep apnea, oxygen delivery to the brain is interrupted several hundred times during the night, explains Dr. Lyketsos. “The brain is stressed, so people wake up,” he says. The injury sleep apnea causes can show up as a variety of memory loss symptoms, he adds .
Other causes of memory loss could be are not limited to the following:
As can be seen, there are a number of things that can cause memory loss. It could be a combination of some of the things mentioned above or one of those things that is severe enough to cause the memory loss on its own.
I’m not going to discuss Dementia or Alzheimer's in this article, as they are very complex topics that will be discussed in future articles and given the time and research they deserve.
So now we know what are the main causes of repairable memory loss, what can we do to reverse the process and have our memory as sharp as possible? Lets us list below:
As can be seen from the list above, by making sensible food and lifestyle changes, you can improve your memory. By making the time and effort to look after your body now, it’ll serve you wonders in the future. Like with most things, consumption or use in moderation is always a sensible approach to undertake.
If you feel you could benefit from guidance on foods to help improve your memory and concentration or require general guidance on nutritional support and how to live a balanced lifestyle please contact me at email@example.com or visit my website by going to www.urbanplatehealth.com
With winter well and truly under way and it being early December, most of us are counting down until the festive season can begin. For most of us, this is a particularly busy and tiring time of year. There seems to be so much to do to ensure deadlines are delivered at work, Christmas parties are planned, presents are bought and the Christmas meal is just perfect. For most, this can be a particularly energy draining time of year.
Just ask anyone you know, they’ll bring up that they are tired. Partly, it's due to the short days and lack of daylight. The other factor is the diet and lifestyle that most are living. With a lack of nutrients in the food being consumed, alcohol consumption going up in December and sleep going down due to late night partying, this all leads to tiredness. But these aren’t the only reason for being tired. Let us explore other reasons that could contribute to tiredness.
So what can be done to get your energy levels up to an optimum level for you? Well firstly, if you have been feeling a lack of energy and it’s a sudden change, go see your GP or a medical professional. You’ll most likely need a blood test or another medical test to confirm that your basic tests results are normal for you. If they do, then you need to look into other options such as your diet or lifestyle. Let us explore this a little more :
The latest scientific research also shows that long term effects of having low energy, that is also one of the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) has detrimental effects on the immune system. One study has shown that CFS that leads to a compromised immune system is a contributing factor to major diseases such as cancer .
Caffeine intake should be managed sensibly and you should be avoiding caffeine after 4pm. I would also suggest that you avoid lots of sugar, as you’ll get energy spikes that will throw your body out of balance. I’ll be writing a timely blog on sugar at some point in January 2018!
Other things you can do to improve your energy levels are to ensure you don’t work yourself up over small things, which tends to happen around the festive season. Nothing is ever perfect in life, and if things don’t go to plan it’s not the end of the world. Use the holiday season to recharge and reflect on the year, spend time with friends and family, have fun at parties if that’s your thing, avoid shopping and the stress that comes with it (unless you enjoy it) and be grateful for what you have. Always keep things in perspective, you’ll live a much happier life :-)
If you feel you could benefit from a consultation on boosting your energy levels or require general guidance on nutritional support and how to live a balanced lifestyle please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website by going to www.urbanplatehealth.com
Over the years there has been much debate on sleep and how important it is for us all. Why is it that some people can have 4 hours sleep and function normally, whereas I myself need a good 8 hours to function at my best. The answer is simple, we are all unique and our bodies need different amounts of everything. What works for one person, won’t work for everyone else. So next time someone is bragging that they can get by on 4 hours sleep, don’t feel like they are superior to you. You may have other things your body is superior at, such as better skin, more focus, more muscles or a faster metabolism to name a few things.
Why is sleep so important for us? Well, let us discuss what sleep is, what it does for us and why we need it.
Sleep (or at least a physiological period of quiescence) is a highly conserved behavior that occurs in animals ranging from fruit flies to humans. This prevalence notwithstanding, why we sleep is not well understood. Since animals are particularly vulnerable while sleeping, there must be advantages that outweigh this considerable disadvantage. Shakespeare characterized sleep as “nature's soft nurse,” noting the restorative nature of sleep. From a perspective of energy conservation, one function of sleep is to replenish brain glycogen levels, which fall during the waking hours. In keeping with this idea, humans and many other animals sleep at night. Since it is generally colder at night, more energy would have to be expended to keep warm, were we nocturnally active. Furthermore, body temperature has a 24-hour cycle, reaching a minimum at night and thus reducing heat loss. As might be expected, human metabolism measured by oxygen consumption decreases during sleep .
Sleep helps your brain work properly. While you're sleeping, your brain is preparing for the next day. It's forming new pathways to help you learn and remember information. Studies show that a good night's sleep improves learning. Whether you're learning math, how to play the piano, how to perfect your golf swing, or how to drive a car, sleep helps enhance your learning and problem-solving skills. Sleep also helps you pay attention, make decisions, and be creative. Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. For example, sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin). When you don't get enough sleep, your level of ghrelin goes up and your level of leptin goes down. This makes you feel hungrier than when you're well-rested .
Sleep also affects how your body reacts to insulin, the hormone that controls your blood glucose (sugar) level. Sleep deficiency results in a higher than normal blood sugar level, which may increase your risk for diabetes. Sleep also supports healthy growth and development. Deep sleep triggers the body to release the hormone that promotes normal growth in children and teens. This hormone also boosts muscle mass and helps repair cells and tissues in children, teens, and adults. Sleep also plays a role in puberty and fertility. Your immune system relies on sleep to stay healthy. This system defends your body against foreign or harmful substances .
Before I go through the specific advantages of sleep, I want to outline how the sleep cycle works, as it's important to know this.
While you sleep, you go through cycles of sleep states. The first state in a sleep cycle is light sleep (NREM), followed by deep sleep and a dream state referred to as REM-sleep. NREM stands for Non Rapid Eye Movement and REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement. A full sleep cycle lasts about 90 minutes and is normally repeated several times each night. Let's go through these cycles in detail :
Stage 1 NREM: This stage occurs after you have decided to sleep and your eyes are closed. During this stage—which typically lasts between 1 and 10 minutes—you are lightly asleep, and you can quickly return to being fully awake.
Stage 2 NREM: When NREM Stage 2 sleep kicks in, things get serious!
Stage 3 NREM: This sleep stage refers to the combined stages of what was previously separated into Stage 3 & 4 sleep.
Stage 4 REM: This is the final stage of a standard sleep cycle. The first Rapid Eye Movement sleep stage lasts around 10 minutes and usually happens after having been asleep at least 90 minutes.
REM sleep is also known as “paradoxical sleep.” This is because the brain waves emitted during this stage seem contradictory to sleep: Although you are sleeping, your brain waves look at lot like what can be recorded when you are fully awake. Another aspect of this paradox is the fact that even though your brain shows heightened activity, most of your muscles are paralyzed.
Now that we have seen what sleep actually is and the processes your body goes through on an average sleep cycle, let us see the many benefits of a good night's sleep :
It is clear that sleep is very important for us all. I for one love sleeping! With the weather getting cooler and the nights getting longer, there is nothing better than getting into a comfortable bed and getting some shut eye. Especially for those of us who exercise during the week (which should be all of us :-)), sleep is important for muscle recovery and growth.
A lack of sleep is more damaging to one's health then is accepted or acknowledged. Sleep seems to be missed off most diagnostics and is something which is commonly accepted as ok if one does not get enough sleep. By having a good nights sleep, we can tackle the day with a burst fullness of energy and determination.
Here are the long term effects of not getting enough sleep :
Without enough sleep, your brain and body systems won’t function normally. It can also dramatically lower your quality of life. A review of 16 studies found that sleeping for less than 6 to 8 hours a night increases the risk of early death by about 12 percent. The obvious signs of sleep deprivation are:
Stimulants like caffeine aren’t enough to override your body’s profound need for sleep. Behind the scenes, chronic sleep deprivation can interfere with your body’s internal systems and cause more than just the initial signs and symptoms listed above.
Everyone’s experienced the fatigue, short temper and lack of focus that often follow a poor night’s sleep. An occasional night without sleep makes you feel tired and irritable the next day, but it won’t harm your health. After several sleepless nights, the mental effects become more serious. Your brain will fog, making it difficult to concentrate and make decisions. You’ll start to feel down, and may fall asleep during the day. If it continues, lack of sleep can affect your overall health and make you prone to serious medical conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes .
So what can be done to have what I call good ‘sleep hygiene’ for a good night's sleep? There are a few quick wins that can be easily done to help ensure you get a restful night’s sleep. Here is my quick win guide:
Frequent sleep disturbances and daytime sleepiness are the most telling signs of poor sleep hygiene. In addition, if you're taking too long to fall asleep, you should consider evaluating your sleep routine and revising your bedtime habits. Just a few simple changes can make the difference between a good night’s sleep and night spent tossing and turning .
As can be seen, by having a good sleep routine, with sensible diet choices and exercise will help you have a good night sleep. When we have a good nights sleep, we make sensible eating choices the next day, have more energy and generally feel better.
If you feel you require support with your sleep issues or require general guidance on nutritional support and how to live a balanced lifestyle please contact me at email@example.com or visit my website by going to www.urbanplatehealth.com