Sleep and Metabolism
When I talk to people about controlling blood sugar and/or weight loss, I like to focus on 3 key elements needed for an Optimal Metabolism - Quality Movement, Quality Nutrition, and Quality Sleep. So what's up with sleep and metabolism? It turns out that people who are short on sleep tend to put themselves into a "metabolic storage mode" and have difficulty losing weight effectively. If you are curious, check out this interesting study.)
Unfortunately, as we get older, our sleep quality tends to diminish. For me, I usually fall asleep pretty easily but often I awake at 3 am and can't get back to sleep. The "monkey brain" starts going and my thoughts jump around from this to that, faster and faster, and sleep becomes elusive. So, I am always interested in strategies to help get back to sleep when I hear them.
Sleep is Important for Your Metabolism
It might not be a shock to hear this, as the importance of sleep has been in the news more frequently, but proper sleep is important for your metabolism. Short sleep makes it harder for you to lose weight, and can increase insulin resistance and cause glucose levels to rise. This week I'll highlight two hormonal changes that occur when you don't get enough sleep - increases in ghrelin and decreases in leptin.
Ghrelin and Leptin
Ghrelin and leptin are two hormones discovered since 1994 which have important effects on metabolism. For our discussion, think of leptin as a hormone that signals when you have sufficient energy - caloric intake and fat stores - and works to decrease appetite. Ghrelin is a hormone secreted by the stomach and is known to increase hunger.
In a classic study, researchers studied 12 healthy young men, and found that when they slept 4 hours nightly for 2 nights, compared with sleeping 10 hours, they had decreased...
The Brain is Fascinating
When my daughter was about 5 months old, I watched as she figured out how to rotate a toy so she could pass it through the bars on her crib. I realized in that moment that at 5 months old she could solve a problem my 5-year-old dog could not master! I as fascinated by how quickly her brain was developing.
The human brain is fascinating. I thought I'd highlight 2 observations about the brain that have direct relevance to your health, and which you may not have heard.
1. Your Brain is Cleaned When You Sleep
In people who develop Alzheimer's disease (AD), characteristic changes occur in the brain. Substances like beta-amyloid and tau protein, which are present in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) surrounding the brain, become deposited in the brain. Known as "beta amyloid plaques" and "tau tangles," these changes represent the pathological markers of AD.
When I speak about the 3 components of Optimal Metabolism - Quality Movement, Quality...
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