Sunday, May 9, 2010

Lack of Sleep... Slow, Sluggish, & a Bigger Belly?

We at PPT hope you had a safe & happy Mothers' Day!

The effects of sleep duration are gaining more and more attention among wellness professionals. Getting the right quality and quantity of sleep is not only essential to optimizing mental and physical recuperation, it may be essential to preventing obesity.

In a recent study published in the journal Sleep, researchers from Wake Forest University reported that getting less than 5 hours of sleep or more than 8 hours of sleep leads to increased intra-abdominal fat when compared to those who sleep for 6 or 7 hours.

More than 1,000 Americans were interviewed to obtain information on sleep habits, nutrition, physical activity and lifestyle. They also participated in a CT scan, which was used to assess both visceral and subcutaneous abdominal fat. Baseline measurements were then compared to a re-assessment five years later.

Participants who slept less than 5 hours a night experienced a 32% increase in deep abdominal fat over 5 years, while those who averaged more than 8 hours of sleep increased by 22%. Subcutaneous abdominal fat increased similarly.

After factoring in lifestyle factors such as total calorie intake, education levels, physical activity and smoking, sleep duration persisted as an independent risk factor for increased abdominal adiposity, especially in participants under 40.

Researchers offer broad speculation to explain the cause and effect relationship of sleep to fat gain. The primary explanations involved increased daytime fatigue, which limits energy to participate in physical activity. In addition, some believe in the potential for sleep deprivation to inhibit appetite-suppressing hormones, thus leading to overeating.

We hope you found this research to be helpful in your daily decision-making. And, if you're not already taking these supplements, then please do yourself a favor and include them in your daily routine to reduce your family's risk for athersclerosis and other chronic health conditions while battling the effects of aging!

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